Rachel Pegram (@rachelpegram) is a comedian, writer, actor, singer, and general dumb/cool bitch from around the block (kind of like Jenny). Rachel lives in Brooklyn and hopes to someday find a nice rent-stabilized one-bedroom to settle down in somewhere in Fort Greene.
This week, Pegram talked with me about crying at movies, writing observational comedy, and loving Tracee Ellis Ross.
Okay so this one is inspired by true-ass events. I always cry during movies. Sometimes it’s a movie you’re supposed to cry at like Titanic and sometimes it’s a movie you’re not really supposed to cry at like Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs or Dude Where’s My Car. Either way I always cry ’cause there is always that moment in a movie where shit gets real or it’s just like, Wow can you imagine this set? There were lighting designers and PAs and extras and what an operation it all must’ve been! Like moving damn pictures???? Incredible. I weep at the existence of cinema!
Why did you first join Twitter? What do you get out of it?
I think I first joined Twitter because it seemed like the college thing to do? Like Facebook was very high school for me and Twitter was the college website. I mostly just used it to say random shit at random times. I think of some of my first tweets were just about food or class or some dumb/absurd thought I would kind of rattle off into the ether. These were like tweets for no one too, ’cause I had maybe 16 followers or something. More like a weird diary then anything else.
Look, when it comes to love and sex, I’ll say it, I’m a thirsty little wet birdie. This tweet was in direct response to me learning that two old crushes had broken up with their significant others and I had set two separate plans in motion to shoot my shot. But yes, of course it was too soon and ultimately neither were remotely interested. Always happy to try and fail tho!
How has the way you’ve tweeted changed over time?
I think I’m just a better joke writer. Like in the past my tweets might just be more of a funny idea or moment, but now I think my tweets are a little more jokey. But hey, sometimes I do just write “love saturdays” on a random Tuesday because I just think that’s dumb and funny and a lil tongue-in-cheek.
What kinds of comedy do you do in addition to writing jokes online?
I perform characters with some stand-up live around New York City. I also perform with a sketch group called Lo-Fi and co-host a monthly show with my friend & comedian Rachel Joravsky called That Shit Ray. I’ve also been looking for more ways to incorporate my musical theater background into my characters/stand-up, so some musical comedy is in the works!
So this was a real ass meal I consumed on my birthday. I was in Midtown after an audition and I did like any birthday girl would do — I went to the Starbucks inside of the Macy’s in Herald Square for a full lunch. I got my favorite Starbucks drink, a caramel macchiato with coconut milk, and my favorite Starbucks meal, eggs from who knows when with bad grapes, soft apples, weird sweet bread, and a small packet of peanut butter. Look, sometimes you’re broke on your birthday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate with the tasting menu from Seattle’s finest!
What’s the weirdest Twitter interaction you’ve ever had?
Hmmm, this is less of an interaction, but a man who follows me online only replies when I talk about my vagina and he truly looks like the Cryptkeeper. It’s always a comment where he “doesn’t get what I’m talking about,” but he must get it because he only replies to those. It’s really cool to be a woman online!!! He probably jacks off to me and that is pretty special.
Damn, I’m realizing that so many of my tweets are observational! Uhhhh, call me black bitch Seinfeld I guess! No but for real this was inspired by me drinking water and then realizing there were mad floaties on the bottom and it made me think of my mortality! I was also once drinkin’ a coffee and random subway water dropped into it and I was like damn … guess this is the day I die!!!
Haha, did you just realize you’re mostly observational?
Maybe I did! I mean I love commenting on life. I think that even if I don’t have the hottest take I just say it the loudest and most emphatic and just the act of having a strong opinion can be the fun of the thing. But I would say my opinions tend to lean on the weird side? Like I fully believe Starbucks has some of the best hard-boiled eggs. Sorry! It’s true.
Do you like political jokes as well, or do you mainly prefer ones that stem from your personal life?
I do like political jokes, but I don’t think I’m the type to serve you a spicy political joke. I think I am political in my existence. A black woman in comedy dissecting my life of being black, growing up black in America, and pursuing the daunting goal of entertainment while having some of the lowest amount of agency because of being a black woman. So sometimes I just wanna be silly like a white boy on Workaholics.
Who’s your dream target audience for your tweets?
Hmmmmm, I doubt she would like them but if Tracee Ellis Ross enjoyed my comedy I would die. She is queen. She is bae. She is goddess/comedy/fashion incarnate.
Karen Chee is a Brooklyn-based comedian who writes for The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, and Shondaland, among other cool websites.