Hi reddit. I'm Jenny Slate. I am Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, and I'm also an actress, writer and comedian. My latest project is a movie called Obvious Child that's in theaters now.

You can check out the trailer for Obvious Child here. Or the official tumblr here.

Here with Victoria from reddit to get started, so AMA!


I have to run now! Thank you to everyone who joined in and for your great questions. "Obvious Child" is out in theaters and I love it. Bye!

Comments: 305 • Responses: 33  • Date: 

ndodpgk1693 karma

Hi Jenny. Any hopes for a P&R spinoff with you, Ben, and your "father" Henry Winkler?

JennySlate99 karma

oh, i think they saperstiens have quite enough airtime :)

clitzpah73 karma

I was really struck by the things you've said about the culture of SNL and what it was like to be a female cast member. What's one thing you would change about the current comedy scene (ex. standup/shows/movies) as a whole?

JennySlate361 karma

you know, SNL was a challenge for me, mostly because of how I treated myself. Everyone was very kind to me, but if there was one thing I would change, I would ask people to stop saying that "now is the time for women in comedy" because it's rude to all of the women who came before us, patronizing to those of us doing it, and backwards in general. Comedy comes from my nature, not my gender!

uncaray58 karma

I loved you on SNL, especially as Tina-Tina Chaneuse. What was your favorite/worst memory of your season there? You pick.

JennySlate67 karma

No, you pick! Just kidding. I loved doing the car horns sketch w J-lo.

vaspas80344 karma

You were absolutely fantastic in Hello Ladies, will that be making a return soon? Also, your Drunk History lesson was my favorite one of the series. What was it like filming Drunk History and will you back to crack some drunken eggs of knowledge all over us?

JennySlate86 karma

Unfortunately, Hello Ladies was cancelled. But they are doing a one-hour special to tie up the show. They asked me to be in it but I was away promoting the movie. :(

Drunk History was really fun, but I threw up 3 times when we were done!

rap_the_musical43 karma

Hi Jenny! I love you on Kroll Show, how the hell did you come up with the "Niece Denise" character? Specifically how she talks lol! I find myself saying "what the heck?" to my girlfriend constantly. Also, "Catherine" has the funniest dark tone outside of a Lynch movie I've seen in a long time.. well done. YOU'RE MY NIECE NOW!

JennySlate39 karma

My niece Denise is based off a character I did in a one-woman show. The executive producer John Levenstein of the Kroll Show saw me do the character and we found a way to fit it into the show.

JennySlate40 karma

I am your niece!

dirteemartee36 karma

What's your go to remedy when you're a little too stoned?

JennySlate82 karma

Drink a lot of water and brush my teeth for a really long time. And take a long walk!

PaperGrande35 karma

Where did Marcel the Shell start?

JennySlate42 karma

I was doing the voice while stuck in a tiny hotel room (i felt very small), and my husband noticed and thought we should do something with it!

pbbatenatar29 karma

Hi Jenny, I would just like to tell you that I absolutely loved the Catherine series and think you and Dean are geniuses for it. I guess my question is, just how? And do you plan on making anything else with that tone in future?

JennySlate32 karma

Thank you. And we led ourselves down a weird path just by trying to keep anything neutral. It was kind of a game we were playing. And Dean definitely has plans to write a feature inspired by that film.

bhappy2029 karma

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 16 yr old self?

JennySlate279 karma

I would tell her that boobs are on the way and that she should probably NOT lose her virginity two days before 9/11 because that was very intense?

theblackmichaelcera23 karma

if you were on death row what would be your last meal?

JennySlate126 karma

Buffalo Chicken Fingers and Curly Fries with a side of Ranch and also Ketchup and Pickles. Matzah Ball Soup. A Shirley Temple with extra cherries. Some sort of potion to turn me into a goddess instead of killing me because I would obvs be wrongly accused and would need to get revenge asap.

Frajer19 karma

Hi Jenny so a lot of the characters you play like Tammy,Liz,and Mona Lisa are pretty terrible people, is it hard to play jerks because you don't seem like a jerk?

JennySlate35 karma

Sometimes it's hard because the people I'm being a jerk to are really, really nice. But it's all in good fun. And I make sure in real life to let people know that I'm indeed not a jerk.

irwinmainway18 karma

how come you're so cute?

JennySlate102 karma

Hmhmhmhm. Oh man, I can't answer that, I have no idea! My dad is a popsicle and my mom is an ice cream cone.

david659116 karma

How did you not laugh during the Pageant Talk sketch on SNL?

JennySlate22 karma

probably bc i was so nervous? i wrote that sketch with emily spivey, who created "up all night".

grain9112 karma

Do you plan on making a lot more Bestie X Bestie videos?

JennySlate16 karma

yes yes yes yes yes just not sure when but yes!

ladyhobbes11 karma

Hi, Jenny Slate !! Thank you for your emotional and truthful portrayal of a story that mattered a great deal to me and many of my girlfriends. The only thing that surprised me was your characters raw and unabashed joy at poking fun of any hot button topic - i loved the "murder suey" jokes - but not as many about the process of abortion. Was there more salacious black humor cut out of the script, or its absence an attempt to show solemnity for a decision that takes thoughtful consideration?

JennySlate30 karma

We don't feel that we made jokes "about abortion" or that the film makes fun of abortion in any way. Just because abortion is the topic of a very serious discussion in our country doesn't mean that we have to treat it with kid gloves. Every joke was purposely delivered and placed and the story is the story of a funny woman in a complicated situation. If we put a toe over the line now and then, that's ok. Just because there is laughter does not mean that there is disrespect! The voice of the film is clear and the movie is thoughtful.

ardamato11 karma

Hi Jenny! I saw Obvious Child at a screening in Kendall Square a few weeks ago, congratulations! It’s an amazingly refreshing film. Anyway, I am a senior at Northeastern University in Boston looking to start a career in writing and/or production for comedy TV or film. From my countless applications and interviews I’ve quickly learned that this is a tough industry to break in to without a connection. What advice would you give to someone just starting her career path?

JennySlate15 karma

I'm not an expert. I really only know how to do it the way that I did it. But if anything, find a way to get your voice out there. Get onstage, a blog, even your twitter feed.

chrisonmars11 karma

How was your experience on "Drunk History?" How did you get involved with those guys?

JennySlate18 karma

I loved it! Derek Waters and Jeremy Konner just called me up and asked me to do it and I was actually very honored that they chose me as one of their drunks. I loved it!

TimLStanton10 karma

If you could have lunch with any person from history, real or fictional, who would it be?

If you could have invented anything in the world already invented, what would it be?

In your dream scenario, what is next for you, career wise?

JennySlate20 karma

1) My great grandmother, Frances. Never met her, would love to know what her voice sounded like. 2) Tennis? 3) More movies! Maybe a period piece? Or what if I played a spy? Just more movies would be cool.

polishgravy8 karma

Do you listen to any of the podcasts you've been on? Have you tried any characters out on CBB or any other podcast? If so, how'd it go?

JennySlate14 karma

i don't know why, but i don't listen to comedy podcasts. maybe it's just too much? i listen to This American Life and RadioLab podcasts though and I love them.

Mist3rA8 karma

Are you Jenny from the block?

JennySlate21 karma

I'm not but I once used the same bathroom as Jennifer Lopez. And she was really nice to me.

jason12878 karma

What are your top 5 favorite things?

JennySlate29 karma

1) Dogs 2) My husband 3) Cooking 4) Swimming 5) Drinking and smoking with friends, sitting around a fire

GO_riboflavin8 karma

How would you describe Gabe Liedman's musk?

JennySlate11 karma

gabe doesn't have a musk, but he does have nice body wash and wears the right amount of sunscreen and it smells nice.

cisforkool7 karma

Oh Jenny, I'm such a huge fan. My question for you is: what did you do right after you graduated from college? What did you do to start feeling like an adult?

JennySlate24 karma

Right after I graduated from college I worked in a bakery in brooklyn called "Sweet Melissa's" and also freaked out. Who cares about feeling like an adult! I want to feel like my self from always!

totallymorgan6 karma

I saw Obvious Child and absolutely loved it. I think my favorite joke was when you were off camera saying "he like knows Santa". Was that ADR? Also was this movie written for you or was it a more traditional casting process? Thanks for doing this.

JennySlate9 karma

Hi! We didnt have money for ADR! It happened right there! Gillian wrote this movie for me. I'm a lucky person!

Nexus7185 karma


I loved watching the film, it's fucking amazing.

How is it that I've come to a place where I feel like what my life's missing is someone farting in my face?

As someone who is pretty cynical on the whole genre of romantic comedies, this movie feels like a bulls-eye that hit everything I would look for in a 'romcom' film.

Between yourself, Gillian, and Liz, where there certain romantic comedies that influenced Obvious Child?

Where there certain romantic comedies you thought were terrible and trying to avoid those mistakes?

p.s. All the best to you and your wonderful husband Dean, I love you both and celebrate your successes!

p.p.s. Indica or Sativa?

JennySlate7 karma

First and foremost, I like a hybrid. Secondly, we all love "When Harry Met Sally" (who doesn't), but for me, it's all about "Crossing Delancey". Watch it if you haven't! And thank you!

Sisiwakanamaru4 karma

Hello, I have two questions for you:

  • Can you tell me something about your new shows on FX with Nat Faxon, Judy Greer, and Brett Gelman?

  • What is your favorite dessert?

Thank you

JennySlate12 karma

My new FX show is called "Married" and it's about the funny and weird dark stuff that can happen to all of us. My character is married to "Shep", played by Paul Reiser. She's very fun, really needs to be seen as sexual, anticipates people to judge her before they actually do. Tries to be tough but is sensitive and impatient. All of the actors on this show blew me away, they're so talented and such nice humans. My favorite dessert RIGHT NOW is the donut, which is know is technically a bfast food, but please...

KevlarYarmulke4 karma

What has it been like working on Kroll Show?

JennySlate13 karma

Kroll show and Mr. Nick Kroll are both wonderful and it's a dream x a million for me! My shoes for "Liz" are a bummer though. A big bummer, and the costumes for that character are heavily polyester and they REALLY hold onto your B.O., FYI.

vodkawaterbottle4 karma

Hey Jenny! You're and awesome lady! Everything you do is hilarious. I love every one of your podcast appearances. Have you ever considered hosting a podcast of your own?

JennySlate3 karma

Thank you! No, not really into the podcast thing for myself because the obligation to keep em coming makes me feel stressed out and mostly I just want to talk to people normally :)

Pennwisedom3 karma

I know you're in LA now, but any chance of Dead Millionare ever coming back for a little stint?

I have been doign Improv for a little while, but am fairly new to Sketch, and screen/play writing in general. I find that I have trouble coming up with good ideas (aside from mining good improv scenes). Do you have anything specific you do to come up with ideas? Or any suggestions for the writing process in general?

JennySlate6 karma

I'm glad you liked Dead Millionaire but I'm done with that one.

I feel like it's impossible to tell people how you come up with ideas. The thing that I try to do is be relaxed and not put a lot of pressure on it.

Dereleased2 karma

I've heard that Drunk History involves getting someone very knowledgeable, like a historian or professor, very drunk, and then actors like yourself portray the drunken professors.

  1. Is this true?
  2. Do you still get drunk?
  3. What does Nick Kroll smell like?

You were excellent on drunk history by the way.

JennySlate8 karma

Number 1: usually the drunk people are people that Derek Waters (the show creator) just wants to talk to (I'm obviously not a historian or professor).

2: All the time bro!

3: He smells clean.

Theandric2 karma

What was the last show you were addicted to watching?

JennySlate8 karma

Broadchurch! Whoa! So gooooood.

thealiasman0 karma

Hey Jenny! I was at the Obvious Child screening in Toronto last night, and the crowd loved it (including the row of, like, 4 kids under 15 in front of me. We're pretty laissez faire about MPAA ratings up here).

Question: in the bathroom of the bar, I swear I saw someone tagged the wall with the words "Jenny rules." Just wondering if you guys did any work on that set to get the graffiti just right and somebody put in as a little wink to the audience, or if it was just a happy coincidence it said that?

It speaks the truth! You did indeed rule, as did the movie. Loved the comments before the show, I really hope people open up to what you and Gillian Robespierre have accomplished with this.

*PS: any of your friends who don't find your Arnold Schwarzenegger impression that you did on Comedy Bang! Bang! a few weeks back aren't real friends at all.

JennySlate5 karma

Thank you! That bathroom was a working bathroom but part of a set and was set decorated, so i wouldnt be surprised if our crew gave me a shout out, but maybe there's another jenny who rules? i hope there are a lot of them!