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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Harassing Rachael Ray’s mom brings Pete’s warm-up gig Crashing down

Photo: HBO
Photo: HBO
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Well, we all knew Pete’s gig as a warm-up comedian wouldn’t last long, because what would Crashing be if Pete was comfortably working in a steady gig and he could get his own apartment and whatnot? Answer: A pretty boring show.

I was sort of thinking the writers would save his big Rachael Ray implosion for the season finale, but hopefully wrapping it up in the penultimate Season 1 episode means they’re saving something even better for the final episode.


But let’s back up. Before Pete crashes in spectacular fashion by calculating the number of blowjobs Rachael Ray’s mom Elsa has given in her 52-year marriage, things are going pretty well for him.

He’s got a steady gig at Rachael Ray, he’s still doing sets at The Grisly Pear and he no longer has to bark for the Boston, though he probably could have told them he wouldn’t bark anymore without being a total douche. You’re Rachael Ray’s warm-up comedian, you’re not hosting The Tonight Show, dude—and really, even if you were, that’s not an excuse to be an a-hole. But Pete tells the Boston to go to hell and continues on his merry way.

So things are looking up for him, which naturally means a big, fat rain cloud has to come dump on our little Winnie the Pooh. This one comes in the form of Leif’s wife, Julie (Jenn Lyon), a crazy-eyed blonde hellbent on revenge. She mistakenly believes she’s the one informing Pete about his wife’s infidelity and wants his help proving the affair in court so Leif can’t get any of her money. She also wants to have revenge sex with Pete.

The problem here is that A) Pete is finally in a good place and really wants nothing more to do with Leif and Jess, B) Pete seems like he has come to realize he’s better off without Jess because they weren’t really that great as a couple, but he obviously still cares for her as a person and doesn’t really have any interest in messing up her life, and C) Pete is definitely not the type of guy to have casual sex, let alone casual sex with his ex-wife’s new lover’s wife.


Just when it looks like Pete is going to weather Hurricane Julie, she shows up at a Rachael Ray taping like a crazy stalker and hears him making jokes about Jess’ affair. That was such a bummer moment, because I’ve been waiting weeks for him to incorporate the affair into his act as a way of working through some of his issues, but of course it now happens at the most inopportune time.

Julie rattles his confidence enough that after the next segment, Pete gets back on the mic and proceeds to spin out in spectacular fashion, as mentioned above. It was like watching a car crash. I couldn’t look away, but I just kept typing, “Oh my god, shut up, dude. Shut up. What is wrong with you, stop harassing that old lady about blowjobs!”—and that was before I knew the old lady was Rachael Ray’s mom.


So yeah, Pete’s warm-up gig is officially over and he is sadly back to barking at the Boston. But we have a sneaking suspicion we know which comedian’s couch he’ll end up on next. In stopping by to see Artie’s set, Pete has now met Dave Atell and they kind of hit it off. Hope Dave has an extra pillow.

Stray observations

  • That was not, in fact, Rachael Ray’s actual mom playing herself, though that would have been awesome. But Rachael’s mom’s name is Elsa and she does appear on the show sometimes.
  • I’ll confess, I thought the show would go another way with how Pete would get fired from Rachael Ray. At the beginning of the episode, the audience members were gushing over him, with one even saying he was her favorite part of the show. I was then imagining a scenario where he’s too good and the audience likes him too much, so Rachael Ray is a total diva and fires him. I thought that would have been hilarious, with Ray playing herself in a very Episodes or Extras kind of way (because I hear she’s nothing but perfectly lovely). I’m kind of sad that’s not what happened, though I do get that this is about Pete’s journey and him taking it on the chin all the time, so it makes sense he would implode all on his own.
  • The guy at the Pear giving Pete advice about penis pictures was hilarious. It’s too long to quote in its entirety here, but I adored that entire segment, especially “If you get a picture of a clam, you have to send back a picture of your man-clam or it’s rude.” Wouldn’t want to be rude.
  • Julie: “When we first got together, the amount of orgasms I had, it was shattering. That was the only way I could settle down at night.”
    Pete: “Some people like tea and a book.”
    I don’t know why, but Holmes’ delivery on that was terrific and it made me laugh really, really hard.
  • “What am I supposed to do, start over? What am I gonna text strangers pictures of my clam?”
    Um, does Julie realize that starting over does not equal texting strangers vagina pics? I realize dating nowadays has gotten kind of insane, but she really escalated that quickly.

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