Rapturous Ecstasies!
June 15, 2019 11:02 AM   Subscribe

I’m sorry, have guys heard of the “Joe Pera Reads You The Church Announcements” episode of Joe Pera Talks With You? It rocks! It’s unbelievable! Music writer / politics reporter @DaveWeigel tweeted about it this morning and I haven’t slept since.
ed. note: this is a link to a website with a 10-minute long video. Here is a brief interview with Pera about this episode and others
posted by Going To Maine (20 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
That the video is itself a year old is, I think, exactly right.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:41 AM on June 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

That was very hilarious and charming! Thank you so much!
posted by Kwine at 12:05 PM on June 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

One of the greatest things anyone has done ever! So utterly charming and unique.
posted by Ike_Arumba at 2:19 PM on June 15, 2019

I don't get it.
posted by Reverend John at 7:04 PM on June 15, 2019

I don’t get it.

At the expense of killing the joke: this is the story of an out-of-touch, slightly naïve middle-aged man (in mind if not body) who hasn’t heard “Baba O’Riley” hearing it for the first time, falling in love with it, and sharing that love with the world, to a variety of responses. It’s 100% sincere and 100% self-centered. It’s very pure, in a weird way.

I hadn’t really felt seen in my own music consumption habits in a long while. (Ever?) Other people have had their own experiences finding music but, for me, it’s often been solitary: you hear something on the radio or from some random blog or an album you’ve gotten from the library that knocks you down and, well, what can you do except for jump around the kitchen, listen to it on repeat, or bother people about this amazing tune? It’s been a while since I last saw someone treat the idea of nodding along with a song in your kitchen or rocking back and forth as you listen not as pathetic as the only language that many of us possess for physicalizing our experience with music.

I remember having almost exactly this experience with “Baba O’Riley” myself in college. It was already ancient in rock terms at that point, a song that more classic rock-minded parents had surely ground into their kids’ ears back in the day, so I didn’t even think I could share it with anyone. I just kept it on my headphones all the time and made up excuses to roam around campus so I could move around while listening.

The director goofs a bit by having Joe calling all of the radio stations with his apron on –it should be removed for all the calls subsequent to the first– but by and large the scene is perfect, just perfect.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:42 PM on June 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

Imagine how exciting it will be in 40 years when Joe hears Smooth on the radio.
posted by LeLiLo at 9:10 PM on June 15, 2019 [6 favorites]

I got to skip out of my QA job & watch this during Turner's employee appreciation week! It remains one of the most charming things I've seen in my life. (Tigtone was also funny if significantly less charming.)
posted by taquito sunrise at 9:19 PM on June 15, 2019

Joe did a set that inspired a new lecturing style for me in the college classroom, in that adopting the dad figure allows the introduction of memes to be extra amusing. https://vimeo.com/170977560
posted by jjray at 10:37 PM on June 15, 2019

I don't get it.

Yeah me neither. I think this is just boomer nostalgia.
posted by crazy with stars at 11:45 PM on June 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

it’s often been solitary: you hear something on the radio or from some random blog or an album you’ve gotten from the library that knocks you down and, well, what can you do except for jump around the kitchen, listen to it on repeat, or bother people about this amazing tune?

Malvolio's Dream Journey To Pikes
posted by flabdablet at 12:21 AM on June 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

I think this is just boomer nostalgia.

Apparently ‘boomer’ is the new ‘hipster’ in that it has lost all meaning through indiscriminate overuse.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:25 AM on June 16, 2019 [4 favorites]

crazy with stars - unless you mean nostalgia about boomers (who would be his grandparents generation), this is certainly not boomer nostalgia. Pera is in his thirties and the show is on Adult Swim! If you read the interview Going to Maine included in their post, Pera talks about his and the show writers' influences, which include the Midwest, and indeed he is influenced by his grandparents.
posted by gudrun at 12:39 AM on June 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Joe Pera Talks With You is the most wonderful TV experience I've had in a long time. It's not the best show or the most believable or (by no means) the most exciting. It's more like Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood was for me when I was a child, a safe friendly place I can escape to for half an hour.

Also, the episode where he ceremonially says goodbye to his Jack-o-Lantern after halloween is the best thing ever.
posted by mmoncur at 4:08 AM on June 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

To continue with Going to Maine's joke dissection: the other element is that Joe Pera's character is an exceedingly gentle Midwesterner. I've met people like this, back when I used to go to church. Part of the humor is Joe trying to express his total delight and obsession with a new song, given his limited palette of options for emotional expression. You can tell that he is normally extremely reserved and that this intensity is just overflowing all of his normal channels of expression, which is rare and very charming.
posted by JDHarper at 6:28 AM on June 16, 2019 [8 favorites]

There is a high degree of boomer nostalgia in Pera's work, and I think that unpacking the patriarchal and racial tropes that he uses in his work is worthwhile. However, I would like to think that the core "I just discovered a perfect song" piece is something more universal than nostalgia for a certain time or place.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:29 AM on June 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

I love the double layering... It's entirely conceivable that someone Pera (the comedian's) age may never have heard The Who and had a great reaction - one of xkcd's lucky 10,000. And then translating that to Pera (the character) is just hilarious. The hesitation/distraction while placing the dish in the dishwasher is great.

(though, to me, that's a lot of soap to use when dousing things for the dishwasher... those are just clean dishes at that point. yeah, yeah, this is metadilter, and I can overthink a plate.)
posted by kaibutsu at 10:04 AM on June 16, 2019 [3 favorites]

That was the sweetest and most awesome thing I'd seen in months, thanks.

1. I have several conservative catholic relatives in rural Michigan whom I sincerely believe have no familiarity with The Who.

2. I know I certainly had a moment when I discovered rock and roll. 38 years later the transformative power of that moment still resonates through my life and has had influences on nearly every decision I have made. I believe deep in my heart that this is a universal experience, although you may substitute "dance music" or "art" or "drugs" or "discovering I was gay" for rock and roll. Watching a middle aged man go through this moment of victory and salvation is poignant and hysterical.

3. Baba O Reilly does objectively kick serious ass. Respect the classics, man.

I am certainly no boomer (in fact the Baby Boomers are responsible for all of this mess, but I digress). There are several insightful things about this short that sustain what might be a one-off joke into an inspiring piece about universal joy. I loved it and thanks for the post.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:46 AM on June 16, 2019 [4 favorites]

Going to Maine, I had never heard of Joe Pera until you posted this.

I really enjoyed the The Who episode, and I'm very much looking forward to watching the handful of other episodes they've posted up on the Adult Swim site. (And can I just say what a wondrous thing it is that so much well-crafted video is available to stream online? I mean, it's not my perfect world, where everything would be available to everyone free at all times, with creators generously funded by Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism, but there is an awful lot more stuff available now than before the internet existed, and I for one am delighted.)

... From my perspective, cynical and snarky attitudes dominated a lot of entertainment for a very long time. I have never been a cynical and snarky person (I do hear sarcasm in my voice occasionally, but I don't like it when it happens), and I am beyond grateful that more people are creating and sharing works that have gentleness, earnestness, and enthusiasm. I've been cherishing works like Hamilton and Detectorists, and now I can add Joe Pera to that list.

Thank you so much for this, Going to Maine. You have infected this internet stranger with your enthusiasm for this episode, and I can't wait to pass it on to someone else.
posted by kristi at 2:54 PM on June 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

I had not previously encountered Joe Pera. His delivery reminds me of The Mailman's Nightmare from Laurie Anderson's 1983 album United States Live, my vinyl copy of which it's clearly time to dig out and play some more.
posted by flabdablet at 2:12 AM on June 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Oh, huh. This was number one on Vulture critic Sean T. Collins’s “10 Best Music TV Moments of 2018” list last December, although this also feels like the sort of list contrived to make people watch the episode.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:50 PM on June 17, 2019

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