Comedian Eddie Pepitone

6th October 2020

Veteran comedian Eddie Pepitone loves turning our expectations on their head. He’s a working man’s comedian with a set that perfectly melds the impassioned righteous rage of Lewis Black with the more understated observations of a comedian like Steven Wright. These days, due to the global pandemic, he’s taken his act digital: live streams, video conferences, etc. His latest special, taped before the shutdown, is called “For The Masses.” It’s a special that fits the moment: Eddie sees all the scary, horrible and confusing stuff happening in the world, and helps us find joy in the absurdity of it all. It’s also very funny. Eddie joins guest host Julie Klausner to discuss how comedy helped prepare him for the tribulations of 2020, fighting his addiction to bad news and his writing process for his new special. Plus, he’ll pitch us his version of La La Land 2!

Episode notes

Photo Credit: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Fast Company

Comedian Eddie Pepitone on breaking hi addiction to bad news

Eddie Pepitone is a working man’s comedian.

He’s been doing stand-up since 1984. His act is largely derived from his experience growing up as a working class kid in Brooklyn. He draws heavily from his own father, a school teacher, as well as his uncle.

When he performs he flirts with expectations. He zigs where you’d expect him to zag. Sometimes he’ll belt out the punchline with all the passion of a Sunday morning Pentecostal preacher. In other moments, he’s quiet. Reserved.

One thing that remains a constant about his set is that it is funny. You can expect to laugh.

As a result of the 2020 pandemic, he’s had to shift how he does comedy. Shaking hands and touring is pretty much out of the question for most comedians so he’s taken his act digital: live streams, video conferences, crowd-work where the “crowd” is the result of 1 and 0s on a screen.

His latest comedy special, taped before the shutdown, is called “For The Masses.” It’s a special that fits the moment: Eddie sees all the scary, horrible and confusing stuff happening in the world, and helps us find joy in the absurdity of it all. It’s also very funny.

Eddie joins guest host Julie Klausner to discuss how comedy helped prepare him for the tribulations of 2020, fighting his addiction to bad news and his writing process for his new special. Plus, he’ll pitch us his version of “La La Land 2!”

“For The Masses” is streaming online now.

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Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

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