Chelsea Peretti is a comedian and an actress, currently starring in the television show Brooklyn Nine-Nine on the FOX network. Today, her hour-long comedy stand-up special was released on Netflix, aptly titled “One of the Greats.”
Peretti has been involved in the world of comedy for a long time. She’s been performing stand-up, written for and acted on shows such as The Sarah Silverman Program, Louie, Parks and Recreation, Kroll Show, and Tosh.0. She also has her own podcast, Call Chelsea Peretti, where she takes calls from listeners, talking to them about dogs, food preferences, and murder, among other topics. I was lucky enough to both speak with her (and comedian friend, Pete Holmes) once on her podcast and to see her perform live in Philadelphia this past Spring.
It begins with a melodramatic opening, featuring a voice-over of Peretti speaking about the “trials and tribulations” of her life and past stand-up career, as she speeds on a motorcycle toward the venue. Her act features not just straight stand-up, but short audience bits, and herself as a clown, taunting the on-stage Chelsea Peretti. These are just pieces of what comes together to be a riotously funny performance.
Peretti certainly is silly at times, asking at one point about surfers, “Why, just because you go onto the ocean in a ‘thing’, do you have a specific dialect?” However, beneath the comedy is commentary on society (including lamenting about small talk) as well as on gender. A specific point she makes is about men complaining that all female comedians talk about their periods. Peretti claims that if men had their periods, it would essentially be the only thing they talk about. And plus, are men’s tastes really so “discerning” that they have the final say on what is “funny,” when most of the male persuasion will laugh at fart jokes? Though, Peretti does not solely bash men, nor would any watchers have a basis to say that her jokes are unfair. Women are not spared—there is talk of posting #nomakeup selfies, among other topics of the ridiculousness of society today.
Peretti wants to be relatable, and though in the opening of the special she claims to be a “direct vessel of God,” her act reveals that she has definitely achieved this goal. A lot of thought clearly went into the creation of this special, and the result is something that is both straight-up hilarious and a poignant review of some societal strangeness.