Joe Pera Talks With You season 3: Talking to Joe about Austin Powers

In a time when a dispute over what comics apparently cannot state rages on, Joe Pera is discovering plenty to state about things nobody on tv appears worried with at all. Think about the episode titles for the brand-new season of Joe Pera Talks With You, his Grownup Swim funny that started in November: “Joe Pera Sits With You” (in which Pera speak about purchasing a chair) or “Joe Pera Shows You How to Build a Fire” (where he reveals you how to develop a fire”) and even “Joe Pera Discusses School-Appropriate Entertainment With You” (it’s much better if you see that a person on your own).

When it premiered in 2018, Joe Pera Talks With You felt all at once like the strangest and most terrific thing on tv. The title explains precisely what audiences get: for 11 minutes, Joe Pera will speak with the audience about a topic in plaintive, monotonous-yet-warm overtones, as Pera — playing a fictionalized variation of himself who’s an intermediate school choir instructor — engages with his good friends and next-door neighbors in Marquette, Michigan, often in manner ins which straight associate with the episode’s subject, often in manner ins which are more abstract. For instance, while the 3rd season best has to do with purchasing a chair, it’s likewise about assisting his pal Gene (Gene Kelly) cope with his pain about retirement.

All of Joe Pera Talks With You is like this: The mundane as a window to the soul, where nothing is really boring if you open up enough.

“The line Dan Licata, the writer, came up with a few weeks ago was ‘other TV shows feel like they were made by an energy drink,” Joe Pera tells me over the phone, “So this one feels like it was made by Apple Cider.’”

Joe Pera and his friend Gene try out chairs in a furniture store in season 3 of Joe Pera Talks With You

Photo: Adult Swim

It’s tempting to describe Joe Pera as comfort television, thanks to its warm sentiment and Pera’s sanguine personality. But that feels like an oversimplification. There is darkness to the series: Viewers meet a character who clearly struggles with alcoholism, other characters struggle with grief, and some folks just aren’t very nice. The achievement of the show is in its efforts to embrace the beauty that exists alongside these things.

“I don’t want to make something that’s totally detached from the real world or some kind of a fantasy show,” Pera says, “but just kind of focuses on the nicer decent moments that happen and trying to pay attention to them.”

Over time, this is the appeal of Joe Pera Talks With You: it is a show deeply in love with people, and uninterested in making them any more or less glamorous than they already are. This is what likewise makes it hilarious, because people are inherently funny, especially when they’re not trying to be. In one season 2 episode, Pera attends an incredibly awkward bachelor party where he — thin and uncomfortable, completely at odds with the Michigan bros he’s accompanying — surprisingly finds his neighbors opening up to him.

Joe Pera stands in his old-fashioned living room, in front of a red easy chair, in season 3 of Joe Pera Talks With You

Picture: Grownup Swim

“The bachelor party episode came from a bachelor party weekend I went to,” Pera says. “I was home in Buffalo and somebody at the bachelor party, I found out, goes to like a UFO Believers Club that meets in the Old Country Buffet. It’s like, you would have never guessed that until you talk to somebody!”

Joe Pera Talks With You is, in a nutshell, full of things you’d never guess. One minute a perfectly normal, droll-seeming choir teacher can be riffing on the Rat Wars of Alberta, Canada, the next he might opine about Elizabeth Hurley’s underrated performance in Austin Powers. (Pera loves Austin Powers. “It’s really sharp! Just bit after bit, loaded with good characters and fun moments and so much energy. Did you know [Mike Myers] was 33 when he made that?”)

All sorts of things can happen if you stop and talk to someone like Joe Pera. You simply need to take the time.

New episodes of Joe Pera Talks With You air every Sunday on Adult Swim and stream on the network’s website. Seasons 1-2 are likewise readily available on HBO Max.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.