Ahead of the premiere of her directorial debut, Chelsea Peretti joined The Associated Press for an interview. During the conversation, she reflected on being a woman in stand-up comedy, revealing she was told not to dress sexy on stage.
Back in 2015, Peretti joined Conan O’Brien and made a sarcastic remark when Conan asked whether she benefited from the #MeToo movement:
“A weird thing that I’ve noticed is an uptick in people watching my one-hour special, and it feels like they’re searching for people who aren’t rapists to watch their stand-up. It’s like, that’s what it took for people to watch a female comedian’s hour-special. They’re like, ‘Okay, that’s a criminal, that’s a criminal, ah, I guess I’ll try this.'”
AP recently brought these remarks into question in the interview. Remembering her take on ‘rapists,’ Peretti explained:
“I do remember saying that. There were so many comedians who were outed for varying levels of horrific misogyny that I started really contemplating the last 20 years of my life, going: ‘Wow, I was trying to get a pat on the head from a lot of these people. I was being told to emulate half these people.’ It was a revelation, and it’s been so inspiring, people like Megan Stalter who are this younger generation.”
She then recalled being told not to dress in appealing clothes when doing stand-up shows. According to the comedian, the younger generation of female comedians is breaking these rules now:
“I was told never to dress sexy when you’re doing stand-up. I’m watching all these younger women break all these rules and have the time of their lives. That’s the way to do it, you know? So it’s been such a period of reflection. And obviously, the pandemic was this pause button in which you could really reflect on, ‘Wow, I was on a sitcom! That’s cool.’ And: ‘Whoa, my stand-up life was tumultuous in many ways.'”
Peretti is getting ready for the world premiere of ‘First Time Female Director‘ at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival in June 2023. The film marks her feature directorial debut, seeing Peretti star, write, and produce alongside Amy Poehler, Kate Arend, Jordan Grief, and Deanna Barillari.