Heavy recently had the opportunity to catch Chelsea Peretti's show at the Ace Hotel, as part of the New York Comedy Festival. Peretti is an eclectic person who has been a part of numerous high profile projects in the last few years. She's appeared on Louie, wrote for the critically acclaimed yet ratings challenged Parks & Recreation, and now creates a popular call-in style podcast. Given that and familiarity with her standup, we were excited about catching up with her act at the festival.
The room being used for the show was relatively small, and people crowded in to the point of standing room only. No one whimpered about it though, giving the impression that most of the people there were bona fide fans. Her humor tends to range from self deprecating to just simply deprecating. At times you get the feeling that she doesn't actually care for people, like when she lashed out at a table of ditzy blondes for being a little too liberal with a camera-phone.(A noted problem in standup.) The giggly girls were arguably her biggest fans in the room until that moment, which Perretti picked up on and caused her to make an at least genuine seeming comment about her own self-destructiveness.
How much of that is carefully crafted stage persona and how much is real isn't entirely clear, such is the nature of the business. She did however go off on a rant about the Ace Hotel, commenting on how much she disliked the (seriously) gaudy hipster decor, and of course the hipster staff that came with it.
Biting the hand that feeds you seems less than wise (as noted by Chelsea herself) but that's never stopped comics from lashing out at their respective clubs or network affiliations. To be fair, hipster-hate is a theme in her show and the Ace was asking for it. Of course, there's always the chance that it was just more craftiness on her part, and that she got permission from the hotel. Though she did come back to it numerous times. Once remarking that she disliked the look of the stage so much that she wanted to rip it apart with a pickaxe.
All in all, she kept the audience laughing for her entire set, and all had a good time. Just don't expect her to pander to the audience, or anything else for that matter.
This is an older set from 2007, but it's still strongly representative of her style and persona.
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