Comedian Chelsea Peretti’s new special One Of The Greats recently hit Netflix, and while the Brooklyn Nine-Nine star’s ongoing gag of exaggerated genius is, of course, comedic hyperbole, perhaps it’s not too far off from the truth. From her long list of writing credits and stand up performances, to her truly unique social media presence and Feral Audio podcast (yes, podcasts are still cool!), Peretti is a long-time favorite of the comedy scene who’s getting mainstream attention now—and deservedly so. Here, then, are ten times when Chelsea Peretti proved she might actually be “one of the greats.”
A guest spot on a comedy series isn’t always a huge deal, but it is when it’s the very first episode of what would become one of the most acclaimed comedy series in recent memory. Peretti’s guest spot as a woman who goes on an awkward date with Louie provided a memorable start to years of watching Louis C.K.’s character have cringeworthy interactions with other people—jumping in a helicopter to escape him still takes the cake, though.
Many might be unaware of the impressive résumé Peretti has quietly built, with writing credits on programs such as The Sarah Silverman Program, Parks and Recreation, Kroll Show and a stint on Saturday Night Live. Take, for example, episode eight of Parks and Rec’s fourth season, titled “Smallest Park,” which is credited to Peretti, and featured a pivotal moment in the story arc of Leslie and Ben.
So far, there have been 62 episodes total of Peretti’s call-in podcast from Feral Audio, and the devoted cult following she’s gained in that time has been astounding (see #7 for further evidence to this claim). The recurring themes and topics of discussion are ones only Peretti could pull off—there’s her fascination with bear attacks and murder stories, her love for food and testing the culinary tastes of callers, and of course, there are the times when she calls her Grandma on the air. You should listen to the show from the beginning to catch every running joke, but episode 33, “Silverfish Dementia,” is a classic.
Peretti's social media platforms have become known for her treasure trove of pictures, both vintage and photoshopped. Most of her photoshop work deals with her ongoing gag of illusions of grandeur, like when she graced the cover of TIME magazine above. Peretti also has a seemingly endless supply of throwback pictures from her childhood—pictures that you have to see to believe, like the one below of Peretti wearing a full gown and holding a parasol at—wait for it—her high school graduation.
Peretti's Twitter page could be considered polarizing to some, as she tweets seemingly random thoughts at times and isn't afraid to use and abuse Caps lock (though she says “CAPS AREN'T YELLING THEY R ACTION MOVIE LEVEL INTENSITY TWEETING”). If you're a fan, though, every tweet of hers is an absolute gem. She was one of TIME's Best Feeds of 2013, and for good reason—she's developed a fascinating delivery style that's truly all her own.
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Peretti’s brother Jonah is a BuzzFeed founder, and a genius in his own right, so the public interactions we’ve seen between him and Chelsea are comic gold. The two created the satirical website Black People Love Us!;, which is hilariously still online in all its early-Internet age glory. They also did a Q&A together for Elle, in addition to frequently interacting with each other on social media and Chelsea’s podcast. Genius must run in the family.
Given the success of her podcast, Peretti launched a correlating phone app of the same name, making her a trailblazer of sorts in terms of using interactive media to connect more strongly with her fan base. The app is a must have for any Peretti fan—you get a speed dial button to her podcast, the soundbites she famously uses on her show (“NO THANK YOU!” being the quintessential one), and of course, Chelstagram, which gives you hilarious filters—like wolves, an overload of junk food, and silverfish—that come from running jokes from the show. It was a smart and innovative move that’s paid off big time.
Gina might be the most polarizing character on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but if you’re a fan of hers—which the majority of viewers likely are—then she’s without a doubt one of the best parts of the show. As the zany assistant to Captain Holt, Gina is so entertaining, because you never know what she’ll do or say next, and Peretti’s delivery of some truly outlandish lines are often the most memorable pieces of dialogue on the show. If Andy Samberg can win a Golden Globe, and if there’s any justice in the world, Peretti will see some award nominations come her way during Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s run.
Here’s a web series from Peretti that likely flew under your radar, and it’s one you should definitely revisit. Called All My Exes, the series features Peretti doing newsmag-style interviews with her “exes,” played by people such as Amy Poehler and Fred Armisen. Created and written by Peretti, her performance is enough to make one wonder what could have been if Peretti herself had ever been an SNL cast member.
No explanation needed for how great the intro to this trailer is. If you aren’t a fan of Peretti’s “American treasure” bravado after watching this, we can’t help you.
“One Of The Greats” officially debuted on Netflix on November 14, 2014. John Riti is a Paste intern and a recent graduate of Truman State University. You can follow him on Twitter if you’re into that sort of thing.