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“Shocking — I have an opinion on bathrobes,” Iliza Shlesinger tells The Hollywood Reporter right out of the gate on this episode of Off the Cuff.
“And everything else.”
That “everything else” includes the proper pronunciation of words like “croissant” and “Shanghai”; the idea of being “caught up in a physical altercation and not having a bra on”; why Jared Leto is “so attractive, he actively looks for ways to make himself look more human”; the challenge of getting through an episode of Serial (“I actively had to sit still and almost take notes”); and why a person should be discerning about which podcasts they appear on (“You can’t do all the podcasts because then it’s like you’re the celebrity who gets passed around”).
Luckily, Shlesinger chose us. As the youngest comedian (and the first woman) to ever win NBC’s Last Comic Standing, she has kept her foot on the pedal ever since her 2008 victory with numerous TV appearances, hosting gigs, USO tours (she’s gone to Afghanistan with Jay Leno and Craig Robinson), comedy albums and specials under her belt, and she still performs in L.A. comedy clubs almost every night of the week (unless, of course, she’s on tour in another city). Her latest special, Freezing Hot, which premiered on Netflix in January and for which she’ll soon be embarking on a “massive” tour, focuses on the kind of “Why do women do that?” humor we typically expect from male comedians — and it sounds much different coming from her.
“I noticed that no girls were talking about it,” she says of sharply observed yet totally relatable topics like why women don’t like to bring jackets on dates or want to be hugged when they’re cold. Describing many female comedians’ humor these days as of the “alcohol-guzzling whore” variety, Shlesinger prefers to depict women as they — and she — really are.
“I want girls to know that whatever you’re feeling, I’m feeling too,” she explains. “All the things that you think make you crazy, it’s OK to feel that way, and I’m gonna tell you why we feel that way.”
She also resists the temptation to label men as the dumber sex in comparison. (“Thank you for the Internet,” she says magnanimously to all our male listeners.)
“Men leave the show going, ‘I understand my girlfriend more now.’ Women come away going, ‘You gave away our secrets.’ “
Listen to Shlesinger’s full interview on this episode of Off the Cuff, and be sure to subscribe to #THRpodcasts on iTunes for all the latest episodes.
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