Joe Pera Talks with You

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Joe Pera Talks with You
Created byJoe Pera
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes22
Executive producer(s)
  • Jonathan Roig[a]
  • Dan Licata[b]
  • Patrick Stone[b]
  • Jackie Stolfi[c]
Running time11 minutes
Production company(s)
Original networkAdult Swim
Original releaseMay 20, 2018 (2018-05-20) –
External links

Joe Pera Talks with You is an American comedy television series that first premiered on Adult Swim on May 20, 2018. The series was created by Joe Pera and produced by Factual Productions, Inc, later Alive and Kicking, Inc. It entered development following the success of the 2016 specials Joe Pera Talks You to Sleep, which was animated, and Joe Pera Helps You Find the Perfect Christmas Tree, airing as part of Infomercials. Adult Swim renewed the show for a second season which premiered on December 6, 2019.[1][2]


The series stars comedian Joe Pera as a fictionalized version of himself, living in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and teaching choir at a local middle school. Pera attempts to talk directly to the audience about mundane subject matter such as iron, Sunday breakfast, fall drives and sleeping.


  • Joe Pera (Joe Pera) is a self-proclaimed "soft-handed choir teacher" from Marquette. Though he is very introspective, with a vast knowledge of specific concepts, he expresses naivety in his social interactions.
  • Mike Melsky (Conner O'Malley) is Joe's neighbor. The two meet in the show's first episode, when Mike attempts to buy Joe's house due to a misunderstanding with where the sign is placed. He is generally sarcastic, short-tempered, and incredulous towards Joe.
  • Sue Melsky (Jo Scott) is the wife of Mike Melsky.
  • Gene Gibson (Gene Kelly), Joe's best friend. He likes to help Joe teach his lessons, and often ends up giving Joe advice in the process.
  • Sarah Conner (Jo Firestone) is a new band teacher working at the same school as Joe. Many of her beliefs are rooted in conspiracies and fears for the future, as evidenced by her construction of a fortified basement below her house. She becomes Joe's love interest over the course of the first season.
  • "Nana" Josephine Pera (Nancy Cornell in season 1, Pat Vern Harris in season 2) is Joe's grandmother, based on his real grandmother of the same name.[3]
  • Gus (Fitzgerald William) is Joe's lazy basset hound.


The first Pera project to appear on Adult Swim was the animated short, Joe Pera Talks You to Sleep. It was aired as part of the network's Infomercials series on March 21, 2016. The short was animated and directed by Kieran O'Hare, who had previously animated a Joe Pera comedy bit for his YouTube channel titled Comedianimations - Joe Pera's Running Sneakers. O'Hare applied the same animation style to the Adult Swim special. The special can be seen on Adult Swim's YouTube channel for free, as well as a ten-hour looped version.

On December 9, 2016,[4] a second special, Joe Pera Helps You Find the Perfect Christmas Tree, premiered on Adult Swim. The live-action special was more tonally similar to what would become Joe Pera Talks with You. Like the series, it was directed by Marty Schousboe and written by Pera alongside Dan Licata, and made by the same production team under the name Rent Now Productions. It also takes place in the same location in Michigan where Pera works as a choir teacher. It features characters that would later appear in the series, such as Gene, the Melsky family and Joe's Nana Josephine. Differences include Joe's dog Gus being a black labrador instead of a basset hound, Joe living in a different house, and Joe's co-worker and love interest Sarah, portrayed in the series by Jo Firestone, being absent entirely. These differences imply the special and series are not within the same continuity. Joe's Nana Josephine was also played by his real life grandmother, Josephine Pera, who died in 2017.[3] Pera appeared on local talk shows to promote the special.[5]


Season 1 (2018)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUS viewers
11"Joe Pera Shows You Iron"Marty SchousboeJoe PeraMay 20, 2018 (2018-05-20)0.631[6]
Joe attempts to educate viewers on the rocks and minerals of his Michigan home, but is distracted by the thought that he might have to sell his house.
22"Joe Pera Takes You to Breakfast"Marty SchousboeConner O'MalleyMay 20, 2018 (2018-05-20)0.573[6]
Joe teaches viewers about different ways people eat breakfast while trying to decide on his own breakfast choice.
33"Joe Pera Takes You on a Fall Drive"Marty SchousboeConner O'MalleyMay 27, 2018 (2018-05-27)0.631[7]
Joe takes viewers on his annual fall drive, where he muses on fall and gives his jack-o-lantern a proper funeral.
44"Joe Pera Shows You How to Dance"Marty SchousboeJo FirestoneMay 27, 2018 (2018-05-27)0.549[7]
Joe goes to a coworker's wedding, shows viewers how to dance, and gets to know his coworker Sarah better.
55"Joe Pera Talks You Back to Sleep"Marty SchousboeAmalia LevariJune 3, 2018 (2018-06-03)0.665[8]
Joe muses on topics to help viewers go back to sleep after being awakened by thunder.
66"Joe Pera Reads You the Church Announcements"Marty SchousboeDan LicataJune 3, 2018 (2018-06-03)0.556[9]
Joe attempts to read out the church announcements, but is distracted by his recent hearing of "Baba O'Riley" by The Who for the first time.
77"Joe Pera Lights Up the Night with You"Marty SchousboeDan LicataJune 10, 2018 (2018-06-10)0.523[10]
Joe babysits his neighbor's daughter for New Year's.
88"Joe Pera Talks to You About the Rat Wars of Alberta, Canada (1950–Present Day)"Marty SchousboeJo FirestoneJune 10, 2018 (2018-06-10)0.459[10]
Joe and Sarah try to put on a musical about the Rat Wars of Alberta, Canada, but their relationship gets in the way.
99"Joe Pera Answers Your Questions About Cold Weather Sports"Marty SchousboeStory by: Joe Pera and Amalia Levari
Teleplay by: Joe Pera
June 17, 2018 (2018-06-17)0.516[11]

Joe and Sarah learn to like each other despite their differences.

Notes: Double-length episode

Season 2 (2019–20)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUS viewers
101"Joe Pera Talks with You About Beans"Marty SchousboeJoe PeraDecember 6, 2019 (2019-12-06)0.517[12]
Joe constructs a bean arch in his backyard, and invites his neighbors and his new girlfriend Sarah over to see it.
112"Joe Pera Takes You on a Hike"Marty SchousboeNathan MinDecember 6, 2019 (2019-12-06)0.479[12]
Joe and Sarah go on a hike up Sugarloaf Mountain while contemplating how the rest of the school staff is reacting to their relationship.
123"Joe Pera Waits with You"Marty SchousboeKatie DolanDecember 13, 2019 (2019-12-13)0.592[13]
Joe sits and waits for his Nana to finish her appointment at the hair salon before they both go out to eat fried fish.
134"Joe Pera Guides You Through the Dark"Marty SchousboeMarty SchousboeDecember 13, 2019 (2019-12-13)0.484[13]
When the power goes out in Joe's neighborhood, he visits the Melskys to see how they're dealing with it.
145"Joe Pera Takes You to the Grocery Store"Marty SchousboeConner O'MalleyJanuary 3, 2020 (2020-01-03)0.527[14]
Joe takes the viewers on his weekly trip to the grocery store.
156"Joe Pera Goes to Dave Wojcek's Bachelor Party with You"Marty SchousboeDan LicataJanuary 3, 2020 (2020-01-03)0.444[14]
At Sue Melsky's request, Joe goes to her brother Dave's bachelor party in the woods with Mike, where Mike reveals that Sue kicked him out of the house. Afterwards, the Melskys' kids join Joe and Sarah for dinner.
167"Joe Pera Gives You Piano Lessons"Marty SchousboeJo FirestoneJanuary 10, 2020 (2020-01-10)0.486[15]
Joe teaches Lulu Gibson how to play the piano in time for her 40th anniversary with Gene.
178"Joe Pera Watches Internet Videos with You"Marty SchousboeNathan MinJanuary 10, 2020 (2020-01-10)0.408[15]
Joe and Sarah sit in bed and scroll through various videos on their phone all night, before discovering that Joe's bean arch has fully grown. Guest stars Janeane Garofalo and John Ventimiglia.
189"Joe Pera Has a Surprise for You"Marty SchousboeDan LicataJanuary 17, 2020 (2020-01-17)0.489[16]
Inspired by the movie Rat Race, Joe organizes a scavenger hunt amongst his friends and neighbors to find $115, but only Brad Cam and Big Jeff participate in it. When they return with the money, Sarah reveals that Joe's Nana has passed away.
1910"Joe Pera Helps You Write an Obituary[g]"Marty SchousboeJo FirestoneJanuary 17, 2020 (2020-01-17)0.416[16]
Joe is unable to come up with an obituary for his recently deceased grandmother. Sarah takes a moment to teach the viewers about edible plants.
2011"Joe Pera Shows You How to Do Good Fashion"Marty SchousboeKatie Dolan and Conner O'MalleyJanuary 24, 2020 (2020-01-24)0.562[18]

Joe and Gene head to Milwaukee to see Gene's sons put on a fashion show.

Notes: Double-length episode.[17]
2112"Joe Pera Shows You How to Pack a Lunch"Marty SchousboeJoe PeraJanuary 31, 2020 (2020-01-31)0.583[19]
Joe shows the audience how to pack a lunch, but it only takes two minutes, so Joe tells the story of how Mike made up with Sue and how he got sprayed by a skunk.
2213"Joe Pera Talks with You on the First Day of School"Marty SchousboeMarty SchousboeJanuary 31, 2020 (2020-01-31)0.509[19]
Joe returns to school after summer break.

Special (2020)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byOriginal air dateProd.
US viewers
231"Relaxing Old Footage with Joe Pera"Marty SchousboeMay 20, 2020 (2020-05-20) (YouTube)
May 22, 2020 (2020-05-22) (TV)

Joe Pera narrates stories over a combination of unused footage from seasons one and two of the series, and stock footage. Features the song "Your Dog" by Owen Ashworth.[20]

Notes: 30 minute special.


Joe Pera Talks with You has received critical acclaim, with much of the praise going towards the show's unique tone and writing. In a positive review, The A.V. Club's Erik Adams writes that "It’s a particular type of funny, of the soft-spoken, deadpan, and disarming type that Pera practices onstage and on the talk-show circuit. It’s one of his many gifts as a performer, the way his understated wardrobe, deliberate delivery, and nervous body language set an expectation for awkwardness, before Pera pulls the rug out from under the audience with the confidence of his pacing and the precision of his writing."[21] Indiewire's Steve Greene gave the second season an A- and wrote "“This is nice.” There’s no irony, no rug pull, no cynicism in what he says. Just one person grateful for something that hasn’t even arrived yet. That’s the show in a nutshell: a chronicle of a guy so enthusiastic about the tiny pleasures of life that he’s even happy about potential things. Pera, as the star and frequent writer of the series, plays Joe, a resident of a Michigan city who takes the viewers through the things that fill him with wonder."


  1. ^ Pera, Joe (September 4, 2019). "Big news I can finally share - season two of 'Joe Pera Talks With You' will be coming out this holiday season on @adultswim. There are 14 new episodes, each with new topics, and I will let you speculate whether this fire hydrant will be introduced as a new major character". Twitter. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  2. ^ "Joe Pera Shares More of His Lovable Wisdom in Season Two of "Joe Pera Talks with You"". The Futon Critic. November 5, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Josephine Pera, 93, unlikely star of grandson's comedy videos". August 12, 2017. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  4. ^ "Joe Pera Helps You Find The Perfect Christmas Tree in this Adult Swim exclusive". Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  5. ^ "Christmas Tree Expert Joe Pera". YouTube. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Porter, Rick (May 22, 2018). "Sunday cable ratings: 'Fear the Walking Dead' dips opposite NBA Playoffs". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Porter, Rick (May 30, 2018). "Sunday cable ratings: ESPN gets huge numbers for Cavaliers-Celtics Game 7". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  8. ^ "Sunday cable ratings: 'Westworld' rebounds a little, 'Pose' and 'Succession' start slowly". TV by the Numbers. June 5, 2018. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  9. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (June 5, 2018). "Updated: Showbuzzdaily's top 150 sunday cable originals & network finals: 6.3.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (June 12, 2018). "Updated: Showbuzzdaily's top 150 sunday cable originals & network finals: 6.10.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  11. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (June 19, 2018). "Updated: Showbuzzdaily's top 150 sunday cable originals & network finals: 6.17.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  12. ^ a b Rejent, Joseph (December 9, 2019). "Friday cable ratings: Lakers vs. Portland edges out the competition, 'Gold Rush' falls". Tvbythenumbers. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  13. ^ a b Welch, Alex (December 16, 2019). "Friday cable ratings: NBA wins again, 'Live PD' stays even". Tvbythenumbers. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  14. ^ a b Welch, Alex (January 7, 2020). "Friday cable ratings: NBA comes out on top, 'Live PD' improves". Tvbythenumbers. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  15. ^ a b Welch, Alex (January 13, 2020). "Friday cable ratings: NBA leads again, 'Gold Rush' ticks down". Tvbythenumbers. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  16. ^ a b Welch, Alex (January 21, 2020). "Friday cable ratings: 'Gold Rush' takes the win, 'Live PD' ticks down". Tvbythenumbers. Retrieved January 24, 2020.
  17. ^ "Joe Pera on Twitter: "13, but one is a full half hour"". January 10, 2020. Retrieved January 24, 2020.
  18. ^ Welch, Alex (January 28, 2020). "Friday cable ratings: 'Live PD' rebounds and leads a quiet night". Tvbythenumbers. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  19. ^ a b "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Friday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 1.31.2020". Showbuzz Daily. February 3, 2020. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  20. ^ [1]
  21. ^ "Joe Pera Talks With You is the Adult Swim comedy that'll restore your soul". June 23, 2018. Retrieved January 31, 2020.


  1. ^ Roig is producer for season two.
  2. ^ a b Licata and Stone are co-producers in season two
  3. ^ Stolfi was producer for season one.
  4. ^ Firestone was co-producer in season one and executive producer in season two.
  5. ^ Mark Costa is executive producer for Factual Productions, Inc. in season one and Alive and Kicking, Inc. in season two.
  6. ^ a b Crofford and Newman are executive producers for Williams Street.
  7. ^ This is the onscreen title; on Adult Swim's website and apps, the title is given as "Joe Pera Helps You Write."

External links[edit]