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Series / Joe Pera Talks With You

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"It's not Sopranos, but I did my best."

Joe Pera Talks With You is a series airing on [adult swim]. It stars soft-spoken comedian Joe Pera, who previously appeared on the network with his specials Joe Pera Talks You To Sleep and Joe Pera Helps You Find The Perfect Christmas Tree, set in the same universe. Joe is best described as a man in his thirties with the demeanor and behavior of someone much older. He's very quiet, humble, polite and gentle, and loves living in his small town of Marquette, Michigan, where he works as a middle school choir teacher. Each episode covers a different subject of interest to Joe, such as breakfast, iron, or dancing. The first season of nine episodes began on May 20, 2018.


Joe Pera Talks With You contains examples of:

  • Absurd Phobia: Joe is apparently afraid of jack-o-lanterns. Gene theorizes it's because whenever you carve a jack-o-lantern, you give it 1/16th of your soul. Joe takes a drive every year on the Saturday following Halloween to reflect on why they unnerve him and to "grow his soul back".
  • Actually Pretty Funny: When Gene's friend Timrick, described as a Joe Pesci type ball-buster, asks Joe what it was like growing up in an Amish community, Joe laughs and says he actually likes that one.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: It's vaguely implied that Joe has Asperger's - very high functioning Asperger's. He's deeply interested in obscure trivia and hobbies, frequently makes long lists of topics, speaks in a monotone, and is a bit socially awkward. That said, he's reasonably aware of general social cues and very polite and gentle to other people. He goes on long and rambling philosophical tangents pondering things about everyday life, many of which do end up being kind of thought-provoking and insightful.
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  • Apologizes a Lot: Joe does this whenever he says or does something that he thinks might make you feel uncomfortable, or if he swears (which is extremely rare).
  • Babysitting Episode: "Joe Pera Lights Up The Night With You" has Joe babysitting the Melsky family's youngest daughter, Kelsey.
  • Black Best Friend: Gene is this to Joe.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Joe has very poor eyesight, but spends the majority of "Joe Pera Answers Your Questions About Cold Weather Sports" without his glasses in order to train his eyes not to need them. It doesn't work.
  • The Bore: How most people view Joe. He is a soft-spoken guy who is interested in odd subjects like Michigan's history as America's iron mine. Because of this, he seems to get along best with older people.
  • Burial at Sea: Joe says he wants to be sent down a waterfall when he dies (at age 85, probably from a poison kiss). Since he believes his jack-o-lantern has part of his soul in it, he decides to do the same for it.
  • Call-Back: In "Joe Pera Lights Up the Night with You", Joe presents his theory on why people don't cheer after every firework. This is one of the mildly interesting subjects he mentions in his original special, Joe Pera Talks You To Sleep.
    • In the same episode, right before talking about this, he repeats, "Nice." after every firework, the same thing he does while in the batting cages in Joe Pera Talks You To Sleep.
  • Canine Companion: Joe's basset hound, Gus, which is the 32nd most popular dog name.
  • Cool Car: Joe feels this way about his 2001 Buick Park Avenue, but everyone else seems to make fun of his car.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Sarah is revealed to be one. She also thought Joe was one, after she misinterpreted some of the weird things he's done as being survival training.
  • Cringe Comedy: Joe's socially awkward nature can lead to this.
  • Deconstruction: Sarah's entire "The Reason You Suck" Speech in "Joe Pera Talks to You About The Rat Wars of Alberta, Canada, 1950 - Present Day" originates from Joe Pera wanting to do a 15-minute long speech (about the length of an 11-minute TV episode, with commercials) that starts the same way the episode did. She assumes, that with the calm and long and useless topics that Joe talks about, he won't be ready for any real dangers.
  • Disco Dan: Joe, despite being a music teacher, doesn't seem to know much about current music. When he hears "Baba O'Riley" for the first time, he asks if anybody's heard of The Who, calls it a new song and doesn't seem to realize that he can easily search for the song on Youtube, rather than call every radio station and ask them to play the song. He also has a collection of sheet music from the early 20th century.
  • Five-Man Band: Gene's breakfast crew, the Over-Easys. Gene makes it a point that each member of a breakfast crew needs to bring something unique to the table. Jack knows politics, Jeff knows sports, Timrick is the ball-buster, Alan is The Everyman, and Gene has the sex appeal. Their wives also have a breakfast crew called the Pink Grapefruits.
  • Formerly Fat: Joe mentions being a chubby boy in the first episode, and flashbacks to his childhood in "Joe Pera Takes You On A Fall Drive" show that to be the case.
  • Frivolous Lawsuit: Joe mentions off-hand in the first episode that he's being sued. He reveals at the end that he and Gene are suing each other, not for any particular reason, but to learn more about the legal system, and to see if there's any racial bias in the court.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: "Joe Pera Shows You Iron" starts with Joe beginning a presentation on iron, but getting interrupted by the Melsky family, who thinks his house is for sale. The rest of the episode is about Joe contemplating whether he should sell them his house, but still manages to throw in some facts about rock formation and geology.
    • "Joe Pera Reads You the Church Announcements" starts with Joe doing the church announcements, but then he starts talking about how much he loves "Baba O'Riley" by The Who.
    • "Joe Pera Talks to You About The Rat Wars of Alberta, Canada, 1950 - Present Day" ends up being about Joe Pera's play on the topic, and Joe's now-iffy relationship with the band teacher, Sarah.
    • "Joe Pera Answers Your Questions About Cold Weather Sports" is almost entirely about Joe coming to terms with Sarah's paranoia about the future, and the two learning to like each other despite their differences.
  • Humble Hero: See the picture quote.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode title begins with "Joe Pera" and is followed by whatever he does in the episode, like "Joe Pera Shows You Iron" or "Joe Pera Takes You To Breakfast".
  • Improperly Paranoid: "Joe Pera Talks to You About The Rat Wars of Alberta, Canada, 1950 - Present Day" reveals Sarah to be extremely paranoid about things like solar flares, drone strikes, and the electrical grid shutting down. She also has a fortified basement with a massive food supply.
  • Insomnia Episode: "Joe Pera Reads You the Church Announcements" is actually about Joe gushing to his fellow churchgoers about how he's been up for three straight days listening to "Baba O'Riley" by The Who, and drinking Starbucks coffee for the first time.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Gene is significantly older than Joe, although considering the way Joe acts, it's easy to see why they're friends.
  • Long List: Joe seems to like listing things. Sometimes his lists aren't very long, but they're made long just by how slowly Joe speaks.
    Joe: Pancakes. Eggs. Bacon. Melon. Muffin. Coffee. Waffles. Syrup. Sausage. Rye toast. Donut. Nanners on cereal. I could fill three programs listing stuff you could eat in the morning.
  • Lost Food Grievance: "Joe Pera Takes You To Breakfast" has Mike Melsky attempting to combine every item on his breakfast place into the "Perfect Egg Bite", which consists of rye toast, butter, grape jelly, hash browns, ketchup and a sunny-side up egg. However, the yolk keeps breaking whenever he takes his first bite, ruining his meal and causing him to angrily shout and bang on the table.
  • Madness Mantra: Joe repeats the phrase "Snowmobiles." during the intro to "Joe Pera Answers Your Questions About Cold Weather Sports"
  • The Moving Experience: In the first episode, a For Sale sign is placed in front of Joe's house, either accidentally or maliciously. When a family visits and wants to look inside his home, Joe feels he has to honor their request. He then starts thinking that even though he didn't put the sign there, he still needs to sell his home, and begs the family not to buy his house.
  • Nice Guy: Joe might be a bore to some, but he is uncommonly pleasant. In the first episode alone, he contemplates selling his house, even though it isn't for sale, just so he doesn't have to disappoint the Melsky family, who wanted to buy it.
  • No Fourth Wall: As one might expect from the title, Joe is talking directly to you.
  • Official Kiss: "Joe Pera Answers Your Questions About Cold Weather Sports" ends with Sarah kissing Joe.
  • Refrain from Assuming: The DJ who Joe calls brings this up about "Baba O'Riley" in "Joe Pera Reads You The Church Announcements".
    Radio DJ: The name of the song is "Baba O'Riley", alright? It's not "Teenage Wasteland" even though they say "Teenage Wasteland" a hundred times and "Baba O'Riley" zero times. I guess if you write a song that good you can give it whatever dumbass title you want.
  • Spock Speak: Joe talks in a gentle, monotonous manner, never raising his voice, even when he's excited about something. Like breakfast.
    • He actually does raise his voice in "Joe Pera Reads You the Church Announcements", wherein he becomes extremely excited after hearing "Baba O'Riley" by The Who for the first time, also also starts drinking Starbucks coffee after staying awake for three days straight.
  • Precision F-Strike: About as much as Joe can muster is a "goddamn" in "Joe Pera Takes You On A Fall Drive", which he immediately apologizes for.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech Sarah ends up doing this in a huge Deconstruction episode of the show itself, "Joe Pera Talks to You About The Rat Wars of Alberta, Canada, 1950 - Present Day". She talks about how Joe isn't ready and able to survive in a world with so many possible paranoias that she has.
  • Weird Aside: Jack, the "political junkie" of Gene's breakfast crew, introduces himself to Joe by saying that 93% of Americans don't approve of murder.

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