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Joe Pera is a stand-up comedian who’s best known as the star and creator of Joe Pera Talks With You, the Adult Swim TV show about the beautifully modest existence of a middle-school choir instructor in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It’s a show unlike anything else on TV, past or present, and it’s a direct reflection of Pera’s unassuming comedic persona: In other words, it’s hard to tell where Joe Pera the character ends and Joe Pera the guy begins. It’s also insightful, weird, and decidedly sweet. And while the show just finished its three-season run recently, it won’t be the last the world sees of Pera. In fact, he’s in the midst of a stand-up tour right now, and you can find dates at joepera.com. Oh, and he also just landed the role of James Bond, which you can hear all about on his recent Seth Meyers appearance. Seems like kind of a big deal.
Yet Pera still has time to help out indie bands like Friendship, whose singer and songwriter Dan Wriggins is the other participant in today’s chat. Friendship is made up of old friends—no surprise there—though the band is actually named after a town in Maine near where they grew up. They’re currently based in Philadelphia, though Wriggins Zoomed in for this chat from Little Cranberry Island, Maine, where he also spent time as a kid. That island is also where Friendship and Joe Pera shot the video for “Hank,” from the band’s brand new album, Love The Stranger. It’s the band’s fourth full-length and first for the always reliable Merge Records. It’s a beautiful record full of straightforward but nuanced observations about life and love. Check out the video for “Hank” right here, which comes up in this chat quite a bit.
As I said earlier, that “Hank” video comes up in this conversation, and it leads to Joe and Dan talking about craftsmanship, lobster fishing, and lots more. They talk about touring as a comedy act versus touring as a band, and about how each of them works hard to make their respective art look easy. Oh, and at the end of the chat, Joe finally reveals who his celebrity spouse is, so stay tuned for the whole thing!
Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Joe Pera and Dan Wriggins for chatting. If you liked what you heard, they’re both on tour—separately—right now. Please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the great written features we’ve got on Talkhouse.com. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!
(Photo Credit: right, Charlie Boss; Edited by: Keenan Kush.)