The Bucknellian

Josh Peck speaks at Weis Center

Tony Tian

Tony Tian

Avery Blasko, Contributing Writer

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The Bucknell Student Lectureship Committee welcomed Nickelodeon star and YouTube personality Josh Peck to the Weis Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 2. Peck engaged in an interview/discussion with the University’s own Dr. Catherine A. O’Neil, who moderated the event. O’Neil is the lead physician at the Student Health Center and has been at the University since 2013.

Peck began the show by making a few well-researched references to the University, mentioning the Bull Run Tap House, “Super Saturday,” and the Commons. Peck also discussed his new career as a vlogger, as well as the excitement of being married, expecting a child, and his acting career.

Peck began his comedic career doing standup at the age of eight. He described how at first he tried to fit in with other kids, which he said was difficult because of his weight. He made jokes about other people because, he said, “if I make fun of you first you can’t make fun of me.”

Peck always wanted to be on the hit show “All That,” and while he was never offered a position on the cast, at 13 he was invited to be on “The Amanda Show.” Although it took the persuasion of his mother to go forward with it, Peck took the job. This began Peck’s Nickelodeon career, as he next starred in “Drake and Josh” for four seasons. Peck regained popularity on the social media platform Vine, and has since moved to YouTube, where his vlog channel has over 1 million subscribers.

When asked by O’Neil about advice he would give to college students, Peck said the best advice he could give is to be yourself, take risks, believe in yourself, get over yourself, not worry about what other people are doing or how far ahead they are, and to “find something that makes your soul happy.”

Peck also advised students to “take the next step and keep doing that, just see if you can string together a bunch of days where you’re going toward a goal that makes you excited.”

The conversation carried a light-hearted tone, but moved to subject matter that Elyse Nissley ’21 said had “a maturity that reflected both the age of his audience and his own stage of life.”

Peck also touched on how social media is a platform that can be used for assisting people with performance and arts. “It’s really kind of a special time because you no longer need to go through the gatekeeper,” Peck said.

According to Peck, in order to make it in the acting or writing industry in the past, you needed to be in Los Angeles or New York with an agent, but now because of social media people are able to be discovered much more easily. Peck explained that if you’re passionate about something you post, it will find an audience. One of the last pieces of advice Peck gave to students was that it is important to find the answer to the question of “Why does what I do matter?” He used himself as an example, saying that he loves that his comedy gives people a break from their lives.

“I thought it was great how he stayed true to himself as a comedian even though it was a sit-down talk. I liked how he stayed really connected and interactive with the audience,” Emily Taylor ’21 said.

Nissley claimed Peck was “everything I could have hoped for from one of my favorite childhood actors. He brought to the stage the same comedy and charisma that those of us who watched ‘Drake and Josh’ had come to love. It was easy to see that while ‘Drake and Josh’ fans, as well has Peck himself, have grown up, his gift of making people laugh is just as strong as ever.”

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Josh Peck speaks at Weis Center