Chelsea Peretti: Prolific, Dirty, Hysterical

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Why you should care

Because we can’t wait for The Chelsea Peretti Show.

You might figure that being Andy Samberg’s childhood friend would be a nice connection to have as a rising star in the comedy world. Nicer still is being Andy Samberg’s childhood friend and then repeatedly stealing scenes on the show he produces and stars in. 

If you’ve missed Chelsea Peretti, fix that hole in your Netflixing life ASAP. The 37-year-old Peretti is probably best-known from Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Samberg’s sitcom, which premiered in 2013 and has since won two Golden Globes. Peretti plays Gina Linetti, a zany assistant to the police captain; Gina is an amateur dancer (in groups with such names as “Floorgasm” and “Dancey Reagan”), connoisseur of emojis (we quoth: “The English language cannot fully capture the depth and complexity of my thoughts”) and occasional unabashed office snark-machine.

Kimberly Chun, a culture and lifestyle blogger who’s profiled the Oakland native, compares Peretti to the “zaniness” of everyone from Lucille Ball to the SNL stars. In person, Chun says Peretti is different from her onstage character — far from the “drama kid” vibe, but friendly, goofy and obsessed with her dog.

She’s lovable in confessional stand-up mode, in which she relishes dropping dirty sex jokes …

We’d guess that Brooklyn will be to Peretti what The Office was to Mindy Kaling: the place that makes her recognizable … to start with. It’s the breakout role that comes after a long stand-up career, stints on The Sarah Silverman ProgramLouie and a role in Parks and Recreations writers’ room, among other places. Peretti is using the infinite space of the Internet — Twitter, YouTube, podcasting, Netflix, her own app — to assist in her impending explosion. Chun says it’s exactly that “multiplatform” talent that makes her successful. Her Twitter cover photo? A screengrab from Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” video, photoshopped next to her awkwardly dancing-skipping-something. 

Last summer, she premiered a Netflix comedy special, Chelsea Peretti: One of the Greats. She’s lovable in confessional stand-up mode, in which she often mocks her nose and relishes dropping dirty sex jokes as a woman. She podcasts — you can call her! — and has two Web series to her name, Making Friends and All My Exes. In the latter, she sports a 1980s hairstyle and sits somberly across the interview table from “exes” to interview them under dusky light.

It’s that probably missed series that’s worth a quick binge — each episode is no more than three or so minutes long. And why? This is Peretti on her own turf, and it might be a glimpse of what she’d do with a 30-minute slot on prime time all her own. Meet our favorite of the exes, the coupling of Amy Poehler and Fred Armisen, the couple whom she “banged for a week straight.” 

The coupling we hope will happen on screen, though, is Peretti with her partner Jordan Peele — one half of the Key & Peele duo. Chun says they’ve both got a similar zing to them: “that willingness to take a joke beyond where other people would take it — to carry it up into a flight of fancy.” One last name drop: She’s siblings with Huffington Post co-founder and BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti. But for someone with an “in” to BuzzFeed, it’s sad that the listicles about her aren’t penned by writers with more than 1 out of 5 on the catpower scale. Soon enough, Chelsea, soon enough.

 
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