One of the unlikeliest TV shows of all time is no more.
Joe Pera, star of “Joe Pera Talks With You,” said the gentle comedy was canceled by Adult Swim after just three seasons. In true Pera fashion, however, he praised the network, saying he was given a rare degree of creative freedom.
“An episode where a guy recreates the 2001 film ‘Rat Race’ with his friends that also realistically depicts the experience of losing a family member? Go for it,” he wrote, and noted that Adult Swim “supported our ideas and wanted us to make the show we wanted to make.”
“It felt like we cracked something ― a different kind of tone that has now popped up a bit elsewhere. Kinda neat but also frustrating that we won’t be able to continue exploring it (at least with this show). Hey, if I never make anything else, this was the show I always wanted to see and I’m glad it now exists. But hopefully that’s not the case.”
“Joe Pera Talks With You” was unique for taking the seemingly mundane ― such as breakfast at a diner, growing a bean arch, discovering a new favorite song or disposing of a jack-o’-lantern after Halloween ― and mining those situations for both tender moments and sublime comedy, often at the same time.
The Guardian called one episode “so beautiful it almost brought me to tears,” while NPR praised it as “simple and wholesome, and entirely hilarious.” Vice compared Pera to Mister Rogers and declared the show to be “the best thing Adult Swim has ever done.”
In the spring of 2020, with the coronavirus raging and millions sheltering at home, Pera released a segment called “Relaxing Old Footage” to help bring a little calm:
Pera joked that since the show’s cancelation, he’s already been offered a new gig.
“A credit card company proposed to me that we do a :30 version of the show,” he wrote. “Like a show that goes between other shows and I hold up their credit card at the end. It sounded great to me so I said…just kidding, I would never.”
Pera also spoke of his interactions with fans who loved the show:
“It was the best when I’d meet someone after a show and they’d mention they watched the Christmas Tree Special every December, or tell me that the sleep episodes actually work, or that they showed the series to their Dad and at first he hated it but now they watch it together regularly.”
Pera is currently on tour with a stand-up show and plans to film it as a special.
But fans are mourning the loss of “Joe Pera Talks With You,” which is currently streaming on HBO Max: