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A few weeks ago, we told you about Joe Pera Talks With You, a new Adult Swim show that shot the majority of its first season in Milwaukee. In the weeks since the program’s May 20 premiere, we’ve fallen in love with the show and Pera’s unconventional, wholesome charm. It also doesn’t hurt that the show called upon some members of the local film community to assist in production, and we’ve recognized regional landmarks like Leon’s, Redeemer Lutheran Church, and Copper Kitchen in episodes so far.

Along the way, we’ve also learned exactly how deep the show’s local connections go in terms of casting. Apparently, Pera and Adult Swim looked metro Milwaukee’s way frequently to fill roles in the show. Readers have told us Pera’s dog “Gus” on the show is actually a pooch named Fitzgerald William from Oconomowoc’s Canine Comfort, and that one of the Melsky daughters is a young woman from Shorewood. However, one case of Milwaukee-centric casting takes the cake…or the cod.

When Pera’s actual grandmother (who was featured in pre-series specials) passed away, Adult Swim had to recast the role of “Nana.” In a recent appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers, Pera explained how they went about casting the part.

“Milwaukee and Wisconsin has really great fish frys,” Pera told Meyers. “So what we would do, me and Katie the producer would go to fish frys at 4:30 p.m. on Friday nights and talk to old women and see if they would be good for the part.”

Eventually, Nancy Cornell landed the role of Nana. Pera also hired a Late Night With Seth Meyers camera operator he likes to play his best friend in the show. Goddamn, Joe Pera is a delight! Listen to Pera tell Meyers both quirky casting stories in the clip below, and do yourself a favor and watch Joe Pera Talks With You immediately. “Joe Pera Reads You The Church Announcements” is nothing short of incredible.

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.