Here we go! It’s tech week AND it’s Johnny Peifer’s birthday – what better day to get to know him and his character, Roy, a little better. We asked Johnny a few questions and, as usual, his answers were brilliant and weird and called to mind the smell of coffee and thin cigars. By the way, the photo-bomber is John Carroll – he’s playing live music for the show.
Me: Tell me three ways in which you and Roy are alike.
JP: Roy and I tend to search hardest for answers that we don’t see when they are right in front of us. We generally don’t like eating with other people and, in a restaurant, we cannot make any menu decision easily and are last to finish eating. We are overly attached to our mothers and almost completely alienated from our fathers.
Me: What’s your worst Christmas Memory?
JP: The first year mother and I moved to the trailer, that was the roughest Christmas, we weren’t ready. We had a small black and white television and the holiday specials seemed much more colorful and warm than the reality of being detached from everyone else’s Christmas. We had Christmas in Worcester with mother’s sister and my cousin Maggie, but I’d only been to Worcester during the summer before. Everything was very different than Springfield’s Christmas; somebody else’s Christmas I might not have been invited to. And the day after, we returned to Springfield, and our trailer was cold, like Christmas had not been there. I couldn’t picture what my father looked like, I only remembered the echo of his voice leaving.
Me: Which Christmas carol do you hate the most?
JP: That horrible Lou Monte song, ‘Dominic The Christmas Donkey’…That year in Worcester was the first time I heard that ridiculously stupid song, and I’ve always hated it the most. Now, I pretty much detest any Christmas carol that mentions Jesus, Santa and/or God, but if you don’t really listen to the words, the atmosphere the jingly music makes isn’t too bad. It might even be warming as the weather gets colder.
Me: If Christmas was an animal, what animal would it be and why?
JP: Christmas makes everyone behave like squirrels. There’s a madness in the eyes of a squirrel in the Fall from the urgency of collecting every acorn available and building up a pile meant to last for the winter and forever. That’s how people do their Christmas shopping- and for what? Y’know, everything is calm in January, and things are cheaper. But no, everyone has to do everything all at the same time and in a monster hurry like it’s the last day on earth. Maybe holiday avarice gives the economy a brief but healthy kick in the ass, but we’d all be better off if we’d spread all that activity over the whole year, but like Christmas, squirrels are seasonal and they’ll be glad to take all your acorns before the big nap.
Me: Exactly! I’m hungry, Johnny. Tell me about your favorite Christmas food.
JP: So, Johnny’s Brazilian sister-in-law always makes shrimp at midnight on Christmas Eve. It’s a Portuguese thing, and although shrimp is really more universal than ethnic, there’s just this wonderful garlicky way they do it at midnight. It’s all repeated a week later on New Years Eve; after the count off, out comes the shrimp. I wonder if Leila will fork over this recipe; I don’t think it’s a guarded secret.
I don’t think Roy has had the shrimp; his mother was allergic to a number of things. Roy was fond of the Italian cookies that are made for the holidays, but he doesn’t really pursue them. They show up at work, people bring them, but it’s not the same since mother passed. Roy is uncomfortable with things that are not the way his mother did them. Like mayonnaise- it has to be Hellman’s original, very thinly spread like it’s almost not on the bread, just a hint. Anything slightly off from this will make Roy heave. Some things make Roy nauseous, like all of fast food- but he’s not so health conscious. He’s safe with Tater Tots, Eggo waffles, Hot Pockets and the like. He likes salads but never has the time it seems….
Thanks and Happy Birthday, Johnny! You guys – click that link at the top and get your tickets! We open Thursday!