Comedy

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

Page 3 of 3

Do you have any other characters up your sleeve for the new season? Well, we've done a bunch more Farley things. So there will be more Farley on the horizon.

Is her music career coming along? You know, I'm sure she's going to blow up at some point, but it hasn't quite happened yet for her. Fingers crossed.

What's it like transitioning from Kroll Show to Brooklyn Nine-Nine? Well, you know, they're very different shows, but I think they inform each other. The experiences you have one place always help you somewhere else. A lot of the people that perform on Kroll are people that were all friends coming up and stuff. On Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I knew Andy [Samberg] and I knew Joe [Lo Truglio], but there was a lot of new people, and so it was more of a first-day-of-school feeling when we started the show. But we also all kind of clicked. It's a bigger more involved production. But it was helpful being so free and playing around with your friends, and then going to something more structured to remember to bring in that silliness.

In the writer's room at Kroll Show is it a bunch of people just cracking each other up? That's how I envision it. Writing for comedy shows is pretty amazing. Actually going off on tangents is sometimes where you get great ideas from. So it's a workplace in which being really tangential and going on a rant of some kind or having some crazy debate might wind up influencing an episode. So it's definitely fun.

Do you have any examples of crazy tangents that led to some of your favorite sketches? For example, with Kroll Show: Cake Train. That was something that I just kept pitching over and over and in almost an obsessive way. I kept going: It's a train. You see all these people, they're in the middle of doing activities all over town. And then, you know, you hear the sound of the train coming. They stop what they're doing in the middle. So they might be washing dishes. They drop the dish. They might be typing. They abandon their computer. And I kept pitching it over and over and acting it out. Then they guy is just throwing cakes off a train. And he's just throwing them, and they're catching them and using two arms. And I just kept pitching it, and everyone kind of just kept looking at me. But I think that when you pitch something enough times with enough passion people go, "Maybe there's something to it." Initially, it was too expensive to shoot. And then, I think it was season two, yeah, that we did Cake Train. And it finally got made, and it was this huge victory. Driving out to the train tracks at 6 in the morning, and I'm like, "This is happening!" So, yeah, that was one.

And then we went on this whole tangent when I was a writer at Parks and Rec about, like, which cake was better. I liked this red velvet cake, and Harris Wittels liked some other cake. We ordered all these cakes to the office. I don't know if that's what they were intending, but it seems like it made its way into Brooklyn Nine-Nine with the pie taste-off.

And then also I used to dance all the time in the office at Parks and Rec, and Dan [Goor] was always into that. Then I wound up dancing on the show. I think a lot of stuff winds up making it in.

What material are you working with now on this tour? This one has a lot of stuff about social anxieties and fantasies -- either fantasies of who I wish I was or fantasies of things I wish I could do that wouldn't be socially acceptable. There's some material about my dog and dog people. And there's some stuff about thinking about marriage and family and things like that.

So it's a lot of big stuff. It's definitely very silly and a lot of it is about fantasies -- of me being different or of life being different -- just thinking about social mores and my discomfort with them.

You're shooting the special in San Francisco. Do you have a pretty set idea of what it will consist of or are you tweaking stuff as you go? Well, I'm about to go out for another two weeks of the tour. There are definitely some little tweaks that I want to try. For the most part I'm really happy with this hour, and I feel ready to go. I might want to add in a couple little jokes here and there that might be good connective tissue and stuff like that.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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