Swamp ass be damned: MTV's funny girls crash Tampa

Jessimae Peluso and Carly Aquilino make their debut at the Tampa Improv this upcoming weekend.

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When they are not live tweeting about #girlcode, New York based comedians Jessimae Peluso and Carly Aquilino are making it big in the comedy world. MTV’s Girl Code stars make their debut at the Tampa Improv this weekend. 

Peluso, pictured above, left, is not called  "a bottle rocket with a pulse"  for no reason. When she is not making it work on the next Nintendo ad, she is getting ready for an appearance at The Boston Comedy Festival, or a very selective Norwegian comedy fest in Oslo. Her comedic aspirations come from her natural wit and sass, but most importantly, they come from an intense fear of having a boss and a 9 to 5. Jessimae's comedy is packed-full with witty observations about her personal life in relation to the world; influenced by everything from her mother's drinking habits to her illogical fear of children, she is bound to offend you but make you laugh all at once.

Like Peluso, Carly Aquilino is an established comedian in New York City. After her debut at the prestigious Gotham Comedy Club, Aquilino has been quickly rising in the national comedy scene. When she is not working the camera for MTV's Girl Code, or performing on stage, or being featured on Sirius XM radio, Carly is most likely checking Facebook to make sure the people that made fun of her in high school got fat. Her honest but crude remarks is what drives the crowd wild. A recent Thought Catalog piece, 25 Hilariously Accurate Girl Code Quotes , featured more than six memorable observations by Aquilino. 

Peluso and Aquilino are not big Florida fans, but they do love their fans (and anyone who gives them a try), so make your way to Tampa Improv this weekend. The shows will take place on Thurs., June 19, at 8 p.m., Fri., June 20, at 8 and 10:30 p.m.; Sat., June 21, at 7:30 and 10 p.m., and on Sun., June 22, at 7 p.m, at 1600 E. Eighth Ave. All tickets are $20 and you may purchase them through the Tampa Improv website in advance. 

CL caught up with Jessimae (pictured above, left) for a Q&A. 

What has life has been like on the road with you and Carly vs. being on the show?

Being on the road with Carly is great because we are best friends. We both very similar, we’re both a little nutty. But onstage we’re really different — I'm very physical and she's drier and more sarcastic than me. I have to say, it’s truly a pleasure to go out on the road with someone whose company you enjoy and can talk to.

What got you to want to be a comedian, and how hard was it to come to the point of working for MTV’s Girl Code, and having re-occurring appearances in the Tyra Banks’ Show — any big bumps on your way to success?


I just didn’t want to have a boss. That was a dominant factor in wanting to become a comedian. And rape. Being raped sets you up for a stellar career in the arts. KIDDING (But, seriously.) I grew up in a town that didn’t provide a lot of creative outlets. So making my family laugh was what I did. And a shit load of meth. Most of the statements in this paragraph are true. Did my Tyra Banks Show episodes air again while Girl Code was filming?? That’s hysterical. Ha! Ha! The only way you get to success is when you pass over big bumps. This is a very tough career to achieve steady success in so I’m learning to take it day by day without screaming my manager’s face off.

Ever come to Tampa before? I know you are a New Yorker, what are your thoughts on Florida in general? Any funny anecdotes?

Florida is where people go to die. And meet Mickey Mouse!! I really just can’t deal with the swamp ass situation that is just an epidemic in Florida. It’s hard to keep your lady bits fresh. I may need to invent Dry Twat Talcum Powder for those balmy Florida evenings.

What themes are most present in your comedy? How do you know what content will work best for each audience?

I don’t really have themes in my comedy. I talk about my hometown of Syracuse, and my mom and her love of boxed wine and how Im afraid to have kids. And also about dicks. A small portion of my comedy is sliced out for dicks of course. There isn’t a dick “theme” per say but I do mention them once or twice. I also don’t really cater my material for each audience. I think the ultimate goal is to make them cater to your material. I’m not trying to make anyone happy anymore on stage. I’m trying to speak the truth and keep it funny. Hopefully.

How hard or how easy is it to be a female comedian? I find that many of the biggies in the world of comedy are mostly men—why do you think that is?

I’m just a comic. I don’t attach my gender to the title. Sure, I have material that is based around being a woman but my voice is also very masculine. Not my actual voice, I’m referring to my comedy “voice”. My actual voice is quite nasally with a hint of Minnesota. But I generally speak to a broader audience. Get it? Broad?? Is this thing on? The truth of the matter is this whole bullshit about female comics makes me gag a little. The reality is there are just less females doing it then the men. So it’s a little easier from my perspective. Also, I JUST got my period as I typed out this sentence.

I am told that you were recognized as one of the funniest comedians to follow on twitter. How do you feel about having social media as an outlet for your personal voice as a comic? Are people really getting the jokes on the web? How good or how bad is it to communicate your particular style through 120 characters?

Social Media gives me agita. It’s crazy how something so intangible controls so much of our culture. We are OBSESSED with ourselves and now we have an outlet to cater to our vanity. But I love to cause a little stir. It’s fun to know that words can cause a ripple in society and how the culture views and treats one another. I think it’s all fun and games until someone doesn’t retweet me.

Are there any exciting new projects you want to tell us about?

I have so much going on and I feel so fortunate to be at this pinnacle point in my career. I have a really great team backing me and we are working on a ton. I am writing a book, something I started a couple years ago as a dream and now I am almost done with my proposal. I am also working on 2 pilots and writing my own show as well. This is an exciting career to have embarked on and to have actually come to fruition. I just want to take care of my family and make people laugh. Also I’d like to own horses and llamas. And a vineyard. Also a tibetan elephant. Do they have those there? Where is Tibet? I’d also like a map. And some mac&cheese. I’m just a simple girl. 

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