Comedian, television host, author, MySpace contest winner, Last Comic Standing. Iliza Shlesinger has done a lot since she started in stand-up in 2007. But even before then, comedy was a big part of her life. Growing up in Dallas, Texas, young Iliza joined an improvisation team at her private school. From there, she joined ComedySportz, an improvisation team at University of Kansas her freshmen year of college. Then, when she transferred to Emerson in Boston, she joined another improvisation team, Jimmy's Traveling All Stars, where she honed her writing and editing skills. Upon graduation she moved to Los Angeles to pursue stand-up comedy full time.
Iliza's rise really started when she hit LA. She was one of the most popular members of the Whiteboy Comedy group of standup comedians in Los Angeles, which brought her to the stage at The Improv in Hollywood.
In 2007, Shlesinger won MySpace's So You Think You're Funny contest. That opened a lot of doors, hosting TV shows, guesting on others, being featured on comedy specials like Comedy Central Presents and John Oliver's New York Standup Show. In 2008, Shlesinger became the first woman, and the youngest, winner of NBC's Last Comic Standing, in the series' sixth season. She was twice selected, by other comedians, to compete in the head-to-head eliminations, and won each time.
Since winning Last Comic Standing, Iliza has gone on to record three albums and Netflix specials with a fourth on the way, Elder Millenial, scheduled to come out July 24th, 2018. She also wrote a book in 2017 entitled Girl Logic: The Genius and the Absurdity.
This week Kaizen Komedy looks at the very animated and energetic Iliza Shlesinger. Her use of voices and act outs paint a picture for the audience, allowing her to bring them along through the intricacies of her set. The Kaizen crew also coins a new comedic technique called the “rattlesnake” – which is a set of fast faced lines delivered for comedic purpose. Not only is she a showman, but she is prolific, and her energy is contagious.
Bits analyzed: P90x (War Paint); Women's restroom (War Paint); Girls Night (War Paint)
Check our her website here.