With frequent late-night appearances on “Last Call with Carson Daly,” “@Midnight” and “Chelsea Lately,” Jessimae Peluso appears to be close to breaking through to the next level of comedy. Huffington Post named her one of the top comedians to follow on Twitter (@jessimaepeluso); her weekly podcast “The Sharp Tongue” details her travels around the country; and she’s working on a new book and television projects. A native of Syracuse, Peluso returns to Buffalo to perform five shows from Thursday to Satuday in Helium Comedy Club.
Question: As a Syracuse girl, what do you think is the most common misconception about living in upstate New York?
Answer: That we all get pregnant at a young age, and we’re all on welfare. A lot of them are, but for the most part, people use condoms. That’s why I like Buffalo, because it’s so similar to Syracuse.
Q: When you were starting out doing comedy, was there any particular attribute about your act that you didn’t like, such as some comics who like writing but are uncomfortable on stage?
A: I think we all start off sucking across the board. We suck across the board for a long time. I call it insecure narcissism that fuels people to go when they first start it. It’s a blind confidence that you have, but everything sucks. You have to do it for a long time before you start to get good.
There were so many of my jokes that I first told that were terrible. I actually have the first set I ever did on tape. The whole five minutes makes me cringe from the inside out. At the time, you just think that it’s awesome, I want to do it and you keep trying. You just keep going with that blind confidence and ambition, and if you’re halfway decent and prevail over all of the rejection, you can make a living off it; a pretty decent one.
Q: The Huffington Post named you one of the top Twitter feeds to follow. Does that add more pressure when you tweet?
A: I don’t worry about it. It’s an honor and cool to be recognized as being funny. There’s enough pressure in this world that I don’t think about it. I’m just going to keep doing what I do. I feel like the moment you start to dwell on it and obsess over it, you’ll deviate away from the very thing that made you recognizable and stand out in the first place.
Q: What can people expect from you for your shows in Buffalo after playing here last year?
A: I’m a fun time. I’m pretty physical and sometimes I incorporate the audience, depending on how well behaved they are. I love what I do, and it comes through the material. I feel very fortunate to be able to call this my career, by touring around the country and making people have a better day. It’s pretty dope. There are worse ways to spend your life.
Who: Jessimae Peluso
Where: Helium Comedy Club, 30 Mississippi St.
When: 8 p.m. Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Dec. 18-19