November 1, 2016

Josh Peck, of Nickelodeon’s Drake and Josh, to Speak at Cornell

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Actor, comedian and Vine superstar Josh Peck will speak in Cornell’s Call Auditorium on Nov. 16, a featured guest of the Cornell Hillel Major Speaker Series.

Peck is best known for his role playing Josh on the Nickelodeon live-action sitcom Drake and Josh. He has since appeared in television shows and films including The Mindy Project and the Ice Age franchise, in which he is the voice behind Eddie the possum.

Peck currently co-stars with John Stamos in Fox’s hit sitcom, Grandfathered and voices Casey Jones in the television series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Jessi Silverman ’17, chair of the Cornell Hillel Major Speaker Series, called Peck a “natural choice” for Hillel, because “nearly everyone our age grew up watching The Amanda Show and Drake and Josh.”

“It aligns perfectly with the purpose of the Speaker Series to highlight a Jewish comedian whose talent and success made him a role model for our generation,” she said.

Silverman added that she “could not be more thrilled” to see Peck live and learn more about his story.

“I definitely expect to laugh a lot,” she said. “[Cornell Hillel] just announced the event last night, and the buzz around it is already insane. People are saying we’ve made their pre-teen selves’ dreams come true, and it’s pretty exciting to be a part of that.”

The Speaker Series Committee selects one to two speakers each semester, according to Silverman. The committee looks for individuals with varied careers, backgrounds and content, as well as those who will “inspire and excite the Cornell Jewish community and the campus at large.”

“Cornell Hillel corresponds with a number of agents who represent influential Jewish individuals in a variety of fields,” she said. “We typically start our speaker search by consulting our agent contacts to find out which of their clients are available within the price range set by our donor.”

In the 2015-16 academic year, Cornell Hillel hosted author Jonathan Safran Foer, actress Marlee Matlin and former Chief Rabbi of the U.K. Lord Jonathan Sacks, according to Silverman.

Emem Ikpot ’19 said she plans to be the first one in line at Call Auditorium, “even if it means I have to camp out there.”

“I’ve been a huge fan ever since I started watching the All That skit on Nickelodeon,” she said. “When Drake and Josh aired, I don’t think I watched any show more religiously than that. From his crazy obsession with beating Mindy in every way possible but also being in love with her, to his obsession with Oprah, he is definitely my favorite character.”

Ikpot said she expects Peck to discuss the “tragic end of Vine” and what it means for his “epic Vine career.”

“I expect him to be open to questions and hopefully talk about a Drake and Josh reunion because that would make my life complete,” she said.

Eric Porter ’18 said he knew Peck “way before he starred in Drake and Josh.

“I was a fan of Josh Peck all the way back since he was in Snow Day and Max Keeble’s Big Move,” he said. “What a time to be alive.”

Danielle Weinstein ’17 also shared in the excitement, saying Peck “is and continues to be one of the highlights of my snapchat story reel.”

Cornell Hillel’s Major Speaker Series is funded by donations from the Himan Brown Charitable Trust. The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the show starts at 6 p.m.