After a small tweak and plenty of gagsmithery, this month sees the release of the wonderful A Billion Jokes! (Volume One), mixing up the comic's best Twitter one-liners and hilarious illustrations.
To mark its release, Digital Spy got on the phone with Peter and asked him all about jokes, stand-up, working with Hot Chip, heckler murder and why he both loves and hates Stewart Lee.
Why a joke book and not a teary memoir - which seems to be the usual way into books for comedians?
"I don't think anybody would be interested in my memoir - and my memory isn't very good either! I like the idea of doing a joke book. I've done them on a very futuristic medium and I like the idea that it's a very old-fashioned book. This very modern medium has spawned this very traditional, but quite weird, book."
Is it all compiled from your tweets, or is there new material?
"Some of it I wrote especially, but the bulk of it is stuff that I've tweeted. It took me quite a while to get a publisher to be interested in the book because they'd say, 'All these jokes have appeared on the internet, why would anyone want to read them in the book?'. First of all, the medium doesn't really matter - they're just jokes. Secondly, Twitter is so of the moment.
"Even somebody that follows me and has for years wouldn't have seen all these jokes. You can't monitor Twitter all the time and collate all these jokes. I do! I think they didn't understand the ephemeral element... but I've silently collating them for years now. I do have quite a collection of them now!"
You've said before that you don't really mind about people nicking your jokes - does putting them in a book change that?
"I was more concerned that I hadn't inadvertently done someone else's joke. People often think of similar things. That does sometimes happen on Twitter - somebody says 'Oi! I thought of that joke a year ago'. And it's somebody I don't follow, they just have the same idea as me. It's all the same joke vocabulary that we have. Twitter does lend itself to these particular style of aphoristic joke."
The video advert for the book is hilarious - is there a truth to what it says or will you do more stand-up?
"It's weird because that advert is a pretty accurate representation of how some of those jokes went down! Those jokes in particular went down pretty well, but there's a certain type of joke didn't go down well in front of an audience at all. Particularly punny or word-play types of jokes often elicited a huge collective groan. The thing with stand-up is, I really enjoyed it, but I kind of loathed it as well. It makes me feel physically sick."
"But when it goes well, which it did a couple of times, it's pretty hard to beat. I wish I could be better at it. The only way to get better at stand-up is to do loads of gigs and I don't know. I spread myself pretty thin to get the stage time. I'd love to do more really. I've had two requests from American talkshows to go on and do stand-up on their shows."
Are you considering them?
"Yeah, of course I am! I don't want to say what they are in case they don't come off. But they're pretty f**king well known, and I do find that quite astonishing. I think Americans have a more generous view of me than people do over here."
How did you come to direct Hot Chip videos, and will you be doing more directing?
"It was through Twitter purely. Me and Hot Chip were following each other on Twitter and they asked me to direct their music video and I said 'Yes!' and I directed it - I was doing it! never really directed anything before, I've produced things. I'm just in the middle of editing my third video for them.
"Through Twitter I've got a writing career and a directing career, as well as hundreds of other beneficial things that have happened to me. I love it. The potential for this whole form of interaction, we're only just starting to realise what it can do. We've got friends all over the world you can feel quite close to you couldn't even imagine just five years ago. The world's changing a lot - it's changing super-quick."
Is there any update of your involvement with Arrested Development - is the film still happening?
"I think it's still happening. To be honest I don't really know. They've tried to get me in this television series and I've had a couple of problems with my visa - boring stuff like that. I hope that I'm going to be clear to do the film when they finally do it, which I think will be next year. That's an incredible thing to do. It's one of the greatest comedy series of all time. Maybe it's the greatest one, I don't know!"
You did some voice stuff on Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle - why do you think the commercial mainstream has finally re-embraced him recently?
"I don't know really, maybe I'm not clever enough to answer that. But I do think he's one of the best stand-ups ever. He is unique. I never tire of watching him. I first saw him do stand-up when I was 19 or 20 in a comedy club in Crouch End and I kind of hated and loved him at the same time because he was so impossibly cool and clever and good-looking and hilarious, so I had a complicated thing going on with him. I just thought he was amazing."
You marked the Look Around You anniversary in January - is there any chance of a third series?
"I don't think we'd do a third series but I think what we'd like to do is some kind of film. That's something we have been working on this year, me and Robert [Popper] we've been trying to work out... it wouldn't necessarily be a Look Around You film but certainly in that world that we both inhabit. We still love living in this world."
What other things have you got on?
"I'm writing this Brian Butterfield film at the moment. That's with my brother James, who produced my sketch show, and this guy called Andrew Ellard, who is an amazingly talented writer who worked on Red Dwarf and has worked with Graham Linehan. He's pretty brilliant."
"I'm also writing another feature film just on my own about a stand-up comedian who kills a heckler."
That sounds even darker than The King of Comedy!
"That is one of my favourite, favourite things. It owes a lot to that I think, but it's got its own weird thing going."
Are you planning on being in it?
"Yeah, I'm sort of writing it for myself. When you're an actor, I just hate waiting around for people to decide that they want me... everything takes 20 times longer than it does in television and 2,000 times longer than making something for the internet."
A Billion Jokes (Volume One) by Peter Serafinowicz is out now.