Iliza Shlesinger : Comedian You Should Know
The ‘Comedian You Should Know’ series highlights funny people performing in San Francisco. Iliza Shlesinger is a stand-up who makes us laugh, with two specials running on Netflix, (the latest is Freezing Hot), she’s 60 some episodes into her Podcast Truth & Iliza , w/ awesome guests like Joe Rogan and Jim Jeffreies. She’s also got a show coming to TBS in January, but for now…(takes breath) you can catch her performing live at Cobb’s Sept 17th-19th here in SF. She was nice enough to chat with us on the phone and answer our ridiculous questions…enjoy
Name: Iliza Shlesinger
Place of Birth: Dallas, TX
What was your first job growing up?
My very first job was at a pizza joint, I was so excited, but it was in a really sketchy part of town, so my mom made me quit. Then I went to the mall and got a job at the ‘The Body Shop’. After a week or so my best friend Michelle and I made a copy of the stor’s key, and we stole everything out of the basement storage, all the opened returned items, lotions, candles, body sprays etc.
Whoah! Did you get fired or caught or what?
Not at all, I don’t think anyone even notice it was gone. I suppose if you’re the manager at the Body Shop at the mall, in Texas…that’s probably not where your passions lie…
What’s your favorite one liner?
Well, this is isn’t from a comedy, it’s from Robert DeNiro in Casino and it’s something that stuck with me, it’s when he’s firing that idiot employee of his:
“Listen, if you didn’t know you’re bein’ scammed, you’re too fuckin’ dumb to keep this job. If you did know, you were in on it. Either way, you’re out. Get out! Go on. Let’s go”
Who’s a musician you’re embarrassed to like?
Hmm, I’m an EDM fan now, but back in the day I liked dirty 90’s southern rap, 504 Boyz, or Ying Yang Twins etc. and when that comes on I’m like ‘oh heal yeah’!
Did you go to raves in high School and College?
I went to a highly competitive private college in Dallas, I didn’t drink, my friend Michelle and I discovered raves in college, we liked them because we could make and wear really fun jewelry and clothes, the scene was really fun and friendly, we didn’t really realize until later that everyone but us was on Ecstasy.
What’s your favorite joke in your set right now?
My set is about half brand-new right now, I’m a big fan of doing call-backs to older characters that worked well in the past, it’s like developing a character, in this new set ‘Party Goblin’ makes an appearance, it’s like a prequel to her first appearance. She’s that little monster inside of you that comes out when you’re drunk, and convinces you to make terrible decisions
Hypothetical question: If you could create and co-star in a movie, what kind of movie would it be and who would be in it?
It would be comedy….and horror. Hmm, there are so many actors I want to make-out with…who could be my co-star?….Robert Downy Jr. can play my dad…and maybe I make out with him anyway? I also get to do a scene in a shower where I’m cold, nakedish and vulnerable, wearing a white T-shirt, and Gael Garcia Bernal finds me, and has to comfort me and carry me somewhere. The ghost haunting the place will be played by Chris Farley, the soundtrack will be from 80’s Micheal Jackson…
Are you forgetting anyone?
Oh, and Mark Wahlberg is there and we have a BIG sex scene. I want him to be obsessed with me like in that movie ‘Fear’…but not in an unhealthy way…if that’s possible.
Your Top 5 Comedians of all time?
If youre talking about people who influenced a generation of comedy, you can talk about Jim Carey and Chris Farley, The Kids in the Hall, In Living Color, the list goes on and on.
You got to hangout with Jay Leno outside of the Tonight Show, what’s he like in person/off-set?
I met him because we were going on the same USO tour. It was with Al Roker, Kevin Eubanks, Craig Robinson, all going to Afghanistan together. Leno is just cool, he couldn’t have been nicer, congenial, he would talk about anything. He detstroyed the crowd in Afghanistan. Maybe I’m biased though, he’s a Comedy Store and Improv guy like me.
Do you think you get different interview questions b/c you’re a female comic? What’s the most annoying question you get?
No ones ever asked me that before but yes, I get the same annoying questions all the time! I’m not going to answer questions about Last comic Standing anymore, I’m not talking about ‘what it’s like being a girl in comedy’ anymore. The worst are the morning radio people who always ask you “are you dating anyone right now”. And I’m like, please go to hell…(giggles)
What’s coming up for you?
I’m doing shows at Cobb’s Comedy Club, and I love performing in SF. It’s one of the cities that I wanted to do my latest special in, people are smart, happy, and socially aware, and you can play to the top of the room or the bottom of the room, it’s a good place for comedy.
You live in LA now, what’s that like?
LA looks shiny and amazing from the outside just like the people, and then you get inside and your like, ‘what is this garbage?’ The more I live here the more I’m reluctant to defend this 3rd world city. (laughs)
Check-out more of Iliza on her Podcast, Truth and Iliza by Sideshow Network, here specials are on currently streaming on netflix, and of course you can see her live in San Francisco at Cobb’s Comedy Club Sept 17th-19th.