Comedy

Chelsea Peretti on Wolf Mode, Writing for Kroll Show, and Season Two of Brooklyn Nine-Nine

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See also: Chelsea Peretti's Coming to Phoenix May 30

Let's talk about wolf mode [a style of tweeting Peretti sometimes employs] a little bit. How did it come to exist, and why wolves? It came to exist when it felt like there was no civilized way to respond to certain things that come about on the Internet. So I liken it to a Sasha Fierce/Beyoncé alter ego thing where you're dealing with Internet tomfoolery, shenanigans, what have you. I would flip into this wolf mode. It's otherworldly. It's almost like: What is a wolf going to be impacted by? Like, someone saying something on the Internet? No. A wolf wouldn't care.

Very good point. Then it kind of evolved into a kind of an intense, wild id version of myself, where if I have something I really want to communicate and it has an intensity to it, then I would go into that wolf mode. But it really just became caps lock. You know, people say it's yelling, but to me it's not yelling. It's more like taking someone by the shoulders and looking into their eyes and saying something with intensity.

So, Solange in the elevator: Wolf mode or some other kind of animal mode? You know, I just want to know so many more details about that. It's really hard to comment on it unless they do. I'm really hoping they'll make a statement so I can better understand it. But it is kind of cool that they're not.

I want the audio most of all. It's kind of crazy though that it's like, oh, that's an option? To just not comment at all? [laughs] Why doesn't every person in the media do that when there's a scandal?

I guess 'cause they're not Beyoncé. I don't know. Yeah, I don't know. I feel like wolf mode has a certain. . . it's not frantic for me. It's more like paw after paw just crunching through the snow on some kind of a very serious mission.

I'm picking up a Game of Thrones kind of intensity. Yes, exactly. [laughs] You're like: Chelsea Peretti is a lunatic. She will be coming to town.

Perfect, yeah. So you used to write for the Village Voice -- well, you've done a lot of writing. How did you end up transitioning from that into more comedy writing and stand-up? Well, I interned at the Village Voice right out of college, and then I started doing stand-up and sort of transitioned out of that. I wrote for a video game. That was a fun time. And then Sarah Silverman gave me my first real big shot writing for her show. So I moved from New York to L.A. to write for her show on Comedy Central. Then that wound up leading to writing for Parks and Rec, then Kroll Show, and a variety of other shows.

Your work on Kroll Show is hilarious. Thank you.

I imagine it's a lot of improv, a lot of ad-libbing. Yeah, there's a lot scripted, but then there's a lot of ad-libbing.

So how did Farley come about? Um, you know. I was trying to remember when the first one, the Skype session, aired. I guess that was season one, I think. Nick just asked if I want to do this thing, and it was almost entirely improvised. I don't know how she came about. It was more trying to think who would be dating someone like his character [Bobby Bottleservice]. It just sort of flowed naturally.

I mean I also watch a lot of reality shows. So I felt like she was a composite of Love & Hip Hop meets Jersey Shore kind of reality show character.

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski