One of the things about watching Joe Pera’s material—whether it’s the original Joe Pera Talks You To Sleep, or his Adult Swim series Joe Pera Talks With You—is that it makes you wonder why more (all?) TV isn’t like this: Funny, soothing, and deeply human. It’s an aesthetic that posits comfort as one of the best things television can provide, and it’s hard to imagine a world, especially a world like the one we’re all living through right now, where we could ever get enough of it.
Hence our delight at the recent release of Relaxing Old Footage With Joe Pera, which Adult Swim put up online earlier this week. As the name suggests, it’s mostly made up of unused stock shots from the production of Talks With You, plus some other stock footage, all narrated over by Pera in his typical rambling style. Besides just being, like, exactly what we needed today, it’s also a great reminder that Pera’s stuff goes far beyond the “boring guy talks about boring things” label that could be uncharitably slapped on it; not only is he as deft as ever about weaving jokes both subtle and overt into his monologues, but his eye for picking exactly the right soothing image at any given time has never been better. (There’s just something about watching the graceful rise and fall of telephone wires passing by a car window that calms our weary souls.)
As for why he’s putting the special out now, well, it’s not especially complicated: “If just one nurse can come home and watch it to fall asleep,” he notes while laying out the premise, “It’ll be worth it.”