Jessimae Peluso is contagious – from her jokes, to her laugh, to her outgoing personality. She’s someone you can’t help but want to see more of. I had the chance to catch a performance in November, during her Syracuse homecoming at The Funny Bone in Destiny USA. Performing to another sold-out crowd, Jessimae opened her show by playing the voicemail she received from weatherman Wayne Mahar to the audience. (As you’ll see below, Wayne Mahar is someone we both idolized growing up in Upstate NY! Who else from Syracuse had a little crush on him as a teenager?) He invited her to appear on his Weather Deck segment, so Jessimae sharing the voicemail he left her made for a playful, relatable, and fun intro for the Syracuse locals in the audience. Making jokes about everything from penises, sex, and dating (a girl's favorite topics!) during her set, she concluded the show by having her father Joe come on stage and tell a joke of his own. Seeing her dad on stage with her was beyond adorable, and was such a great way to conclude the set. Jessimae and I caught up afterwards, and did a little late-night, after-hours photo shoot. (Mall security? What’s that?) But first – Check out my interview with Jessimae below, followed by photos from her November 28th performance, our impromptu carousel shoot, and my favorite impromptu shot from the after-party. (#JesusPiece. 'Nuff said.)
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FOLLOWSTHESTARS: Most people know you from the hit show Girl Code on MTV. But you’ve actually been doing stand-up for quite some time, even before the show. How did you first make your way into comedy, and at what point did you know “this is what I want to do with my life?”
JP: I was always funny, or at least trying to provoke a reaction out of people through humor at a very young age. I used to do impressions as a kid for my sister, Emily. She was my first audience member. The first time I got on stage I knew I wanted to perform forever. That was about a decade ago.
FOLLOWSTHESTARS: I imagine being a cast member on seasons 1 & 2 of Girl Code has changed your life. What was it like working with so many other talented ladies? Any funny untold stories from filming the show that you can share?
JP: We actually rarely taped together. Our green screen segments were all taped individually, so we only got to work together on field pieces and sketches, which were my favorite. I loved taping the pet psychic and the demolition field pieces. I felt like a real blue collar bad ass busting down walls. I became very close with the director, Laura Murphy. She’s such a gracious director and really knows how to get the best out of you without sounding like an angry Scorsese. I love creating funny shit with anyone who is a funny team player.
FOLLOWSTHESTARS: Okay, so I have to ask… like you mentioned, one of your individual segments from Girl Code involved you taking your dog Fozzy Bear to a pet psychic. That segment must have been hysterical to shoot. Do you actually believe any of it though, or in psychics in general?
JP: YESSSS! See? How funny was that shit??? I was like, “this lady for real right now??” I am SUCH a gullible soul when it comes to ghosts, aliens and Sasquatch, but the pet psychic thing was a stretch. I mean I’ve had the dog for almost 10 years and usually have NO idea what that little #5lbMexicanAsshole is saying. Don’t get me wrong, there are times we gaze into each other's eyes and all the questions are answered, but that's after me downing a bottle of wine after being stood up on a date. I did go to a psychic ONCE, who was SO ON THE MONEY it gave my butthole hair chills. I don’t think we’re meant to know everything, especially what our dogs think.
FOLLOWSTHESTARS: What about astrology and horoscopes? Do you identify with the characteristics of whatever your sign is?
JP: I am not one of those girls who studies horoscopes. I’m more attracted to astronomy than astrology. I think it’s more interesting to learn how our solar system was formed and what stars are made of, as opposed to what astro sign I’m most compatible with. Because in my past I’ve run the gamut of Geminis and haven’t really found a common thread other than I have bad taste in Geminis. For argument’s sake, I’m a Virgo. Which means I am an anal retentive, detail-oriented, high-strung, sun-sign/virgin. I’m almost all of those astrological accolades.
FOLLOWSTHESTARS: Since Girl Code, you’ve performed stand-up shows to sold-out crowds all over the country. Do you have any pre-show rituals?
JP: I can’t tell you about my rituals, they’re secret. But, yes, I do have a certain set of events that I run through prior to taking stage. One of which is pooping. I think it’s like nature’s flight or fight response to danger. My body knows I'm about to box on stage for an hour, so I empty out to be light on my toes, er something like that.
FOLLOWSTHESTARS: What is your favorite city that you’ve performed in, and why?
JP: I love San Francisco, Tempe AZ, and San Diego, but I probably love Seattle the most because they rep Bigfoot HARDCORE. I found a store that sold all Bigfoot paraphernalia. I GEEKED OUT. As a kid I was always obsessed with Sasquatch and still am! The lush woods surrounding Seattle are said to be THICK with Bigfoot sightings. I know where my next camping trip will be! I can even bring my handy Bigfoot sighting guide book along with me. #Nerd
FOLLOWSTHESTARS: Let’s talk Stamos for a minute. It’s no secret that you’d marry him in a heartbeat if you could. You’re quite vocal on Twitter about your desire for him, and I know sometimes he’s even responded to your tweets. If you were ever given the chance to go on a date with him, what would you do? Where would you go? What would be the perfect date? DETAILS. :)
JP: I think a perfect Stamos date would be for him to come see me perform (to see I also have a slew of screaming women who adore me), and then to a dark romantic restaurant, with pillows for seats and candles everywhere, and all the waiters went home and delicious wine, ok so just in my living room would suffice. I think we could snuggle in front of my TV that has the Netflix fireplace movie on loop to set the mood. Then we can read lines from the Full House pilot episode. #Romantical
FOLLOWSTHESTARS: Hahaha. That's amazing. <3 Jessimae + John 4 Ever <3 Okay, so I’ve seen a lot of comments on your social media channels about your tattoos, and your fans are clearly wondering what they all are. Can you tell us how many you have, where they are, and what they’re of?
JP: I have about 8-9, depending on how you count them. I keep them kind of private. Places I have tats: right wrist, inner left bicep, behind left ear, over right shoulder, all of the right side of my back and soon more to come. My method is I’ll have an idea for a tattoo and wait a year, if I still want it and it still means something to me, then I’ll get it. It’s been 2 years since my last tattoo, and I’m close to getting another. They all have to do with my family so they are very dear to me.
FOLLOWSTHESTARS: Ahh, so there's plans to get more in the future?
JP: Yeah, I’m gonna be a tatted up Granny FO SHO!
FOLLOWSTHESTARS: For fans wanting to get to know you a little better, how about a few “favorite” questions:
- Favorite food? JP: Mac & Cheese, or just cheese in general. Also popcorn… with cheese.
- Favorite alcoholic beverage? JP: Tequila, and none of that Patrón shit, don’t hold out on the good stuff for me… I'M A LADY, I DESERVE IT!
- Favorite color? JP: Black and gray… SO BORING, but every time I wear those colors I feel like the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
- Favorite TV show? JP: Thats too hard. Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, 20/20, Scandal, (HELLO, TONY GOLDWYN!!), Family Guy, To Catch A Predator, Full House OBVI… so many more.
- Favorite band/musician? JP: Damn that’s tough. It depends on my state of mind. I have a very eclectic taste in music but a few that come to mind: James Brown, Radiohead, Phantogram, City and Colour, Sam Smith, can’t forget about the Wu! (Wu-Tang Clan) and I found a love for Ariana Grande.
- Favorite verse from a song? JP: This is a hard one, depends on my mood. "Lose Yourself" by Eminem. Or anything by Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem from Sesame Street.
FOLLOWSTHESTARS: And now, time for a little game of Cards Against Humanity! (My favorite game!) It’ll be as if we’re playing the game together, but with your own answers instead of the white cards. I think this should be good. :) Either fill in the blank, or answer the question on your own. Ready… set… go!
FOLLOWSTHESTARS: Are you currently dating anyone? What are the main differences between dating in Syracuse vs. NYC vs. Los Angeles?
JP: I am currently single. It’s very hard for me to find a person who can understand my travel schedule and is willing to deal with me being so career-driven. Also, I don’t think it's the places that change the dating scene, I think it’s the times we’re in. It’s an over-sharing, highly accessible, and self-absorbed social networking generation. People rarely stop to smell the roses anymore, unless there’s an app for it. I’m so fortunate to have NOT had a cell phone in my hand as a teenager, so I still value and prefer chivalry and courting over texting and "liking" photos on my Instagram. We’re heading towards a dangerous “connectivity” amongst each other that has less to do with getting to know someone and more to do with just curing boredom.
FOLLOWSTHESTARS: You’re constantly tagged on Instagram as the “Women Crush Wednesday” for so many of your fans. That must be so flattering! Let’s turn the tables though – we already know who your guy crush is. Who is your woman crush?
JP: Hmmm, my women crush… Angelina Jolie has always stood out to me with her unwavering decision to live by her own stride. Also have always had a babe-boner for Rachel McAdams.
FOLLOWSTHESTARS: We’re both from upstate NY and are the same age. Growing up in the same city at the same time, you and I have already realized we had the same high school infatuation with local weather man Wayne Mahar. :) This got me wondering – what are some of your favorite memories about growing up in Syracuse, NY?
JP: I was so fortunate and lucky to have had a childhood filled with outdoor activities and playing in the streets. Today these little bastards have iPhones, iPads, WiFi and so many other things to make them anti-social and inactive. We always went to Dance & Skate, New York State Fairs, Burnet Park Zoo, which had 3 deers, a coyote and 37 chickens but the Burger King was BALLERRRR. I played softball, lacrosse, and basketball. And we’d also go swimming in that sees-pool called Green Lakes. OH MY GOD, THE CAROUSEL MALL?!!! The best. I would go and walk around for HOURS, making my dad stay like 200 feet behind us so we looked cool. Wayne Mahar is my BFF now, ask him. I got to go on the Weather Deck.
FOLLOWSTHESTARS: Haha. It's so funny because I have a lot of the same memories, and feel like our childhoods were so crazy similar. Gotta love Syracuse! I have to say, evading mall security with you may just be one of my newest favorite memories in that city. Impromptu photo shoot at 1am? No big deal. :) That was so much fun.
JP: That was the best, ha ha! We climbed onto the actual carousel in the mall, at like midnight, and snapped some great pics until Edward the security man came. He was sweet though... and sweaty. I think it was because I made him carry me off of the carousel. That’s how you build a man’s ego up: make him feel big and strong like bull.
FOLLOWSTHESTARS: Oh, totally. :) Okay - last question! You just recently moved to LA from NYC, and have your fans wondering… what’s next for Jessimae?
JP: I just launched my Mess America Tour for the year. Go to MessAmericaTour.com for tickets. I am also going to start my podcast that my manager has been bugging me for over a year to pursue. I finished my book proposal, which I am super stoked about. I’ve had the idea for a few years now and it feels fxcking amazing to finally be in the process of putting it all on paper. Wanna make my Momma proud. There’s so much I want to accomplish, so I am just focused on always challenging myself and creating fun things for my fans to enjoy. I have been working on a couple shows coming out this year, so you’ll see my face back on TV soon. In the meantime, just poke me on TwitInstgramChatBook.
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WANT TO LAUGH YOUR ASS OFF? FOLLOW #MADCUTE JESSIMAE HERE:
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