Interview: Girl Code's Jessimae Peluso on Comedy, Weed and Cheese

Jessimae Peluso


When considering comedian Jessimae Peluso, there are several career paths that she’s followed since leaving her home town of Syracuse. To millennials, Peluso is beloved for starring in the first several seasons of MTV’s Girl Code and comically sharing in the sisterhood of women. To stoners, she’s the funniest writer covering cannabis at magazines like Cosmopolitan and Playboy. To those on Facebook Live, Peluso has her own show, Weedsday, that raises awareness about Alzheimer’s Disease. And to the stand-up comedy world, she’s a treasure who pokes fun at her romantic relationships. Peluso spoke to me from Beirut where she is – in her words – “doing stand-up comedy for Hollywood Pop Up Comedy Clubs because having a regular job just don’t cut it.”

A.D. Amorosi: There seems to be several 'yous': the stand-up/podcast you, the Girl Code you, the writer you, and the weed-head you? Is there one you prefer, and why?
Jessimae Peluso: Oh man! That depends on day of week and time of day. I’m a creative person so stimulation is vital. I’m excited to be the real me which exists in all areas of my career now. But standup comedy is my favorite. It’s so authentic and raw. You know right away what needs tweaking. I love that aspect of it.

A.D.: Do you believe that all of your 'yous' interact on a regular basis, or do you need to compartmentalize them?
Jessimae: They totally interact. It all bleeds from the same source, but I like to maintain a little bit of compartmentalism in order to give fans of mine something new. But it all is birthed from a single source: my chaotic mind.

A.D.: Some would say that writing about pot is like the old Steve Martin line about dancing about architecture. Yet, I write almost as much on medical pot issues as I do comedy. Is the pharmaceutical end of weed theology going to take the funny out of marijuana?
Jessimae: I don’t think that anything in all of existence has enough influence, power, or Middle Earthy magic to make the subject/subjects of marijuana not funny. Essentially it comes down to the partaker and his/her own experience.  One time I got so high I spoke to a burnt tree. And apologized, audibly and genuinely, for humanity’s pollution. I. Apologized. To. A. Tree.

A.D.: Do you struggle with what is left to write about weed?
Jessimae: Not yet. Quit freakin' me out, man!

A.D.: Having nothing to do with gender or a specific movement, how do you feel about the fact that comedians, once untouchable, are being pressured to be politically correct? Isn’t that the very opposite of comedy?
Jessimae: It’s dangerous territory once comedians start apologizing for jokes and becoming PC. Comedians are the barometric thermometers of society. We hold up the mirrors and hold medicines for societal growing pains. We build bridges between cultures, break sexual stigmas, and help people deal with extreme trauma through the dissection of our own. If we start to censor that more, we will start to devolve back into monkeys. Maybe that’s what’s meant to happen. But I hope not.  Although I would love to be able to toss my sh*t at someone ONCE without being judged.

A.D.: Are there lines you won’t cross, or that are not fair game to you as a comic?
Jessimae: NO. Everything can be made funny, in my opinion, if it comes from a place of truth. It all comes down to truth and conviction. And also tequila. Tequila helps.

A.D.: Your Facebook Live show has a feel for raising awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease, its conditions, effects, lifestyle. Why that?
Jessimae: My father has been diagnosed, so my advocacy for Alzheimer’s only feels natural.  He is an amazing father and I want to raise awareness for this disease. We need to break the stigma that Alzheimer’s is an old person’s disease.  It’s not. Prevention starts early because what you put into your body as a young adult will affect your health later in life! I’m happy to bring awareness for my dad, Joseph Peluso, aka “Joey P”.

A.D.: What lingering effect has Girl Code had on your life?
Jessimae: I don’t understand this question.  I also just took a hit of a joint because that previous question made me emotional. But I’m good. I want cheese. Does that answer it? I feel like 99.9% of the time, cheese is always the answer.

A.D.: As an internet savvy comedian, do you follow memes?  
Jessimae: FXCK YAR. LOVE ME A GOOD MEME. I made one of a photo DJ Khaled took of his son laying in the light vent of his Ferrari. It read “When your dad can’t figure out how to use the car seat”. I haven’t posted it yet. Maybe I will tomorrow. LETS GO!

A.D.: You hang, work, and did stand-up shows with fellow Girl Code cast member Carly Aquilino. What is that like?
Jessimae: I love me some Aquilino. We haven’t toured together in over 3 years, but we had SO MUCH FXCKIN FUN!  I have the photos to prove it. If you bring some cheese I may be inclined to share a couple pics. Jus’ sayin’.

A.D.: Most of your solo stand-up seems to be about lousy relationships or how screwed up men and women are at even good relationships. Why does that topic capture your imagination so, as opposed to, say family or politics or gossip?
Jessimae: Well, I talk about relationships because I’m very intrigued by human behavior and how we can recognize behavioral patterns and how to evolve as a person. But I also talk about my family. I’ve recently started to discuss my father’s illness on stage and it’s been very cathartic. I cannot believe the response I’ve gotten from fans. It’s so encouraging and beautiful.

Jessimae Peluso appears Thursday, July 26 to Saturday, July 28 at Punch Line Philly, 33 E Laurel Street, Philadelphia PA. For set times, prices and more info visit

Photo courtesy of Courtney Passikoff

Posted on Thursday, July 26, 2018