You may not be familiar with Chelsea Peretti's standup, but chances are she has done something that has made you laugh. From writing for NBC-TV's “Parks & Recreation” and Comedy Central's “The Sarah Silverman Program,” to helocoptering her way out of a lousy date with Louis C.K., she has made her mark on television. And with appearances on various websites, online videos and on her new podcast, “Call Chelsea Peretti,” she is quickly becoming one of America's busiest comics. This week, she will emerge from behind the scenes for five big shows at Tacoma Comedy Club, where she will headline at 7 p.m. on Nov. 1 and 8 and 10:30 p.m. Nov. 2 and 3. In anticipation, we caught up to recap some of her adventures in comedy.
TW: You made that hilarious appearance on the pilot episode for “Louie.”
TW: Are people intimidated to date you now because they are afraid of your reaction?
CP: [laughs] Well, I don't walk around with a helicopter. I think I've always been told all my life that people were too intimidated to date me. But I think that's just code for “you're pretty annoying.”
TW: I guess you show your range (as a writer) in that you have written for Amy Poehler, who is kind of wholesome, and Sarah Silverman, who is not so much. Who is easier to write for?
CP: [Sigh] I like writing for them both. … They both have a silliness to them, and I think I connect with that.
TW: You are friends with Sarah Silverman, right? I imagine the two of you teaming up and harassing people with your sarcasm.
CP: [Laughs] Yeah, we do a little of that. (But) Sarah's actually one of the sweeter people I know. It's not like she's sitting there in her standup personae, like, 24-7. She's pretty generous with her friends and stuff like that.
TW: So what is a funny story about you and Sarah?
CP: She puts a couple stories in her book that are pretty central to our vibe when I wrote there. One was I took a pregnancy test on my first day of work. ... I had had sex with an ex-boyfriend. I was just concerned that I was going to die or something – or be pregnant. Then it turns out I was, and we all went and got an abortion together.
[Cracks up] Just kidding. … But just in general, we hang out sometimes. Nothin' crazy.
TW: You are actually working on a project for Comedy Central called “Kroll Show” (starring comedian Nick Kroll.) What can you tell us about that?
CP: Well, I worked on that for … two weeks or something like that. That was before the second season I was at “Parks,” so I had to go back to there. Now we're just waiting for it to air.
TW: What would you compare it to?
CP: I just think it's very unique to Nick and his voice. I don't know if you've seen any of his characters, but it's some that he's done before, like Bobby Bottle Service and those kind of people; and then new characters we got to dream up when we were all in the writers room.
TW: When did you realize you were funny, and did you always want to be a comic?
CP: No, I didn't. I still don't. [Laughs] In junior high school when I started being mercilessly attacked for my appearance and other things, then I started to become funny to defend myself. Then in high school, I hung out with a lot of guys and they were all really funny.
I did improv in college, and I started doing standup when I graduated. So, I've always kind of had a, “Let's see how this goes” feeling. And I continue to feel that way.
TW: Take me back to your worst heckling experience.
CP: This one haunts me more, but it wasn't even heckling, per se. I did a show at the Uptown Comedy Club and no one was looking at me. And then I got offstage and the emcee was like, “She wasn't funny, but I'd (have sex with) her.”
TW: That is terrible.
CP: So I just took the subway home and cried. But, in retrospect, I should have taken the compliment. It's always nice to feel attractive. Yeah, I don't know.
TW: I did not realize until I read the bio on your website that you are in Grand Theft Auto IV. What character did you play?
CP: People always ask me that. I have never played Grand Theft Auto. But, yeah, you turn the radio on in the car, and I guess there's a divorce court station, and I'm in there fighting.
TW: So on some level do you worry that you are teaching some 12-year-old to assault hookers?
CP: [Laughs] I can't really take credit for Grand Theft Auto – the whole empire. I just agreed to go in and do a voice. [Sighs] So, no, I won't feel responsible for future murders.
7 p.m. Nov. 1
8 and 10:30 p.m. Nov. 2 and 3
Tacoma Comedy Club , 933 Market St.
$10 Nov. 1, $15 Nov. 2 and 3
(253) 282-7203 or http://www.tacomacomedyclub.com