Think of: A sharp wit in the style of Patton Oswalt with an easy, confident stage presence. Petersen is versatile: He’s a talented joke writer, but he can also improvise in the moment.
What caught our eye: An off-the-cuff, middle-of-the-week hosting gig at the now defunct Mottley’s during which Petersen made a small crowd laugh enough to sound like a full house. Petersen also played the 2012 Great American Comedy Festival in Norfolk, Neb., which honors the memory of Johnny Carson. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.