So, yeah, Limperis is more Rhode Island, even though she’s now based in Los Angeles. You may also know her from her viral “mom videos” inspired by her Crasntonian mother, Linda, or her work in commercials, or her role on Showtime’s “Flatbush Offenses.” “No Bad Days,” directed by Lance Bangs, is an hour-long comedy special that mixes jokes — about Rhode Island, its Greek/Italian heritage, navigating adulthood — with musings on the loss of his father, Jim, to glioblastoma in 2015.
His one-man show is in line with his late father’s philosophy, right down to the show’s title: Even through the hardships of brain cancer and the pain of loss, you can still dance and laugh.
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
You started doing this show three months after your father died. But the performance we see on Peacock was your last. How does it feel to let go?
Recording, I have never been so emotional. That day was so emotional. I want to say, much more moving than the day of his funeral. Talk about Rhode Island, I got so emotional on the car ride that I called my (athletics) trainer, Coach (Dave) Wright at La Salle, just to thank him for being such a big influence on my life. I felt overwhelmed with gratitude for my childhood and my life, and I knew that by ending this show, I was moving on into adulthood. As for age, I’ve been an adult for a while, but it’s just the feeling that it’s my life that I’m living now, as opposed to my parents’ life or the life that I have experienced when both my parents were alive. And I guess that comes with both sadness and optimism of a fresh start.
It seems like the show has helped you deal with your grief. You talked about having panic attacks after your father’s funeral. This show feels like you’re handling it more productively.
I had my first panic attack after the funeral. Probably just absolutely no way to deal with anything, an overwhelmed feeling. Just watching these two different experiences – my body didn’t shut down, I didn’t have a panic attack, I didn’t freak out the day of the show. It was just more emotion and tears.
And a big Zumba act at the end.
And a big Zumba act at the end. Which has always been a really big part of the show – we can get through this big challenge, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to dance all the way, because that’s what my dad would do.
There is also some good Rhode Island content in your special. Are you kidding about how you could send a package to Paulie, and the delivery person would just have to ask, Big Paulie or Crazy Paulie? Lots of people responded with their own Rhode Island-only anecdotes. Do you have a favourite?
Oh yes, I love them so much. I posted a little montage. “I sent a postcard to a friend once as a test and just put ‘Meg – Block Island’ and it arrived in her postbox.” I love that one. “If you’re driving anywhere in Rhode Island for more than 20 minutes, you need to pack a lunch.”
Yeah. The day my father died, the minute my father died, my entire Rhode Island family, cousins and second cousins were at the door. It’s both the ambiance and the size of Rhode Island. It’s possible for them to recover quickly because of the size, because it doesn’t take a lot of time, but also because we’re all family, we go through this, we all go through this together. There is a real sense of community in Rhode Island that you see even in the comments section of this video. It’s good. There is a very good sense of community and home in the state.
Speaking of Rhode Island and his family. How’s Linda these days?
Linda is doing very well. She couldn’t be in the front row (of my special) because she came on my show so many times that she started mouthing the words. I couldn’t get him too close because I would be distracted. I had a viewing party at this bar in LA and my mom flew in and my friends were sitting next to her, and they said, ‘She filmed it all.’ She filmed the thing filmed. It’s already filmed. It’s on Peacock and she was there with her camera, filming the whole thing. Yeah, she’s doing great. She is very supportive.
You’ve been doing a lot of commercial work lately. You did a Hertz commercial with Tom Brady. How jealous did that make all your friends in Rhode Island? Crazy Paulie must have gone crazy.
Absolutely. Once I worked with Tom Brady, it was like I had nothing else to do. I did it. My family will never be prouder of anything else. He was really fantastic. My dad was obviously a huge fan of his. Meeting him and having him be so excellent made me feel good. Oh, dad, you had a good hero, because this guy is awesome.
So what’s next for you?
I’m on the show”Flatbush Misdemeanors” on Showtime. I really like to play. I have a TV show in development right now and a movie that I wrote with a friend from Massachusetts, May Wilkerson, is currently in development. I really enjoyed being an executive producer on this project, which means I have a lot to say in the decision-making. I’m excited to keep doing things like this. … Seeing all this love for Rhode Island, and this connection, I’m like, we have to make a movie about Rhode Island. That first movie isn’t one, but for the next one, we have to do a local Rhode Island movie. Because there’s definitely an appetite for comedy and Rhode Island content.
Anything else people should know?
It’s probably a hat on a hat, but I swear to God, I was walking around New York after taping but before the special came out with my friend Justin Cappa, who helped a lot on the special. And this guy walks up to me and says, “You probably don’t know me, but I’m your cousin. And me and Justin thought he was quoting the special. But he was not. He was just my cousin too.