“I don’t feel I’m as much of a character onstage now, I feel it’s coming from an authentic place.”
Mary Jo Pehl is a writer, comedian, and she also wrote for and played Pearl Forrester on the television show Mystery Science Theater 3000. She’s been a part of both Cinematic Titanic and Rifftrax, stared in the game Darkstar: The Interactive Movie, and is the star of the upcoming new television show RenFest. Mary Jo’s book “Emplyee of the Month can be found here: http://amazon.com/dp/1466378026/
On this episode of the podcast, Mary Jo talks about starting out as a stand up during the 80s comedy boom. She talks about growing up in Circle Pines Minnesota and how her upbringing shaped the way she thinks about herself and her work. Mary Jo talks about the various jobs she had over the years, both creative and less so. She shares stories of coming up in comedy with Joel Hodgson and Frank Conniff, with whom she would eventually collaborate on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Mary Jo talks about how her writing changed after her mom died. She talks about trying to write truthfully without causing pain for the people she loves. Mary Jo also talks about the challenges of making a living from purely creative work and about how much her audiences, fans and readers have come to mean to her over time.