May 18, 2012
Mary Jo Pehl is a writer/performer/producer with Cinematic Titanic, the live version of the Peabody Award-winning TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000, for which she was a writer and on-air actor in the recurring role of “Pearl Forrester.”
In One Across, Mary Jo Pehl speaks frankly about high profile anonymity and her courageous struggle with a debilitating condition, all with the help of her Personal Assistant. We asked Mary Jo Pehl to be serious for ONE G-D MINUTE and answer some questions.
How did you get started in comedy writing?
Mary Jo Pehl: My first real job out of college (K-Tel International – yes, they exist!), one of my colleagues was really funny and we had a rapport and like-minded sensibility about humor. He was doing a lot of open mics, and he encouraged me to try one. I was very shy and introverted, and I’d never even heard of open mics, so that was a huge hairy deal. I wrote about three minutes of material, forgot two minutes, but some of that one minute actually worked! He and I and another colleague started a comedy group and that got us all writing on a regular basis. Dare I tell you our name? The Boneless Hams. Shut up. I was writing sketches and standup, showcased in our weekly Boneless Hams gigs, as well as the open mics I was hitting every week.