I'm Iliza Shlesinger, comedian and host of Separation Anxiety. AMA!
I am hosting a new game show called Separation Anxiety and that is why I am doing this today! EDIT: THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR PARTICIPATING IN THIS WITH ME! MAY BLANCHE HAVE MERCY ON YOUR SOUL AND WATCH SEPARATION ANXIETY TONIGHT ON TBS!
Proof: TV! https://twitter.com/iliza/status/707311074295586816
It didn't feel right. It felt off brand. I put a lot of personal pics and we did that and it was funny but it didn't sit right with me the next day for some reason. When I have that feeling, I always acknowledge it and honor it.
not related to SA, but I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW: Have you ever met a trucker who listens to your podcast?!
When will the next special be out?
SOON! SHOOTING APRIL 23!
Omg yay! I've been refreshing this new section waiting for this AMA to pop up! First off, your comedy helped me through a depression/anxiety ridden moment in my life. I would watch Freezing Hot and War Paint every day and just laugh and laugh. Thanks for making me so happy!
I have a couple questions: are there any stories not in your standup you are dying to share with the world?
Also, who do you think would win in a fight: Demi Lovato, a real life raptor-vag animal, or Blanche?
The stories I am dying to share are going to be in my NEXT special, which tapes April 23 in Chicago at the Old Vic- it's gonna be personal and it will be less actual stories and more very very personal POV on society and women and millenials. Demi FTW- because she is strong, real and (no offense, DemDem) much larger than Bebo.
How creepy is the 'morning radio promotional circuit'? I heard one host this morning talk about you and Erin Andrews and imply that pretty girls make it tough not to treat them like pieces of meat.
No one cares what morning radio guys think. They need to give drivers headlines they missed while they were on the toilet at 6am and go back to hating that they failed at stand up comedy.
what 5 things would u try to experience if u could be the opposite gender for a day?
Jerking off in like 5 different DunkinDonuts
What do think of the parallel thinking argument? Is it the new 'I misspoke,' or does it have a lot of credence?
IT is for sure legit. Parallel thinking comes because most of us have similar experiences as humans. If you did a joke about what it's like to fuck a piece of bubble gum and go yak riding and someone else did it, then I'd say they were stealing. you have to look at the subject to really judge, it's a case by case basis. Also, we absorb stuff accidentally, which is why I don't watch a ton of comedy- never wanna steal on accident.
Who is the Richard Pryor of the last twenty years?
Probably Louis CK- just in terms of honesty? But Dane sort of changed the stand up game... I know that answer won't be popular but I don't think I'm wrong
Is Joe Rogan really a cool guy, or is he secretly Illuminati?
HE IS A MONSTER OF A GENTLEMAN! Love him.
Is there anything that is off limits in your comedy? Anything that you won't talk about?
I think your limits should ever evolve- there are certain things I am sensitive to being a woman, jewish and a few other things. I don't think rap jokes are funny- they are hacky- that being said, in my youth I'm sure I made a squirrel rape joke or something. Hard to decide absolutes for an every changing art
Do garbagemen get offended by the phrase "garbage people"?
they shouldn't! And if they do? They need to get off their high trucks and come say it to my face!
I really miss Greg Giraldo. Man was a comedy genius. Did you know him?
He introduced me at my first Montreal showcase, he was a kind and misunderstood soul. It's a goddamned shame.
Hi Iliza, huge fan since your Last Comic Standing days!
Since you already covered some of the things I was going to ask (regarding your next stand-up special), I have just one question:
I admire your dedication to fitness (which is obviously showing great results), so I wanted to ask you do you use any supplements, and if you do, what would you recommend as a winning pre-workout/post-workout combo, that worked best for you (in terms of results)?
Take care and all the best, can't wait to see Separation Anxiety :)
Honestly? A large part of it is genetics. I'm not gonna lie. People think I'm a health nut, I just don't pig out (often) I know they want a better answer, I've just always had strong legs. So... Drink water, always go to the gym and try... and...I don't know, clench your butt a lot?
Iliza, I've been a fan since I stumbled across your specials on Netflix! I have not been able to look at pharmacists the same way since then... I had two sorta related questions I wanted to ask you: What is the most sexist thing that has happened to you as a comedian? What's the worst way someone has hit on you due to your renown?
I honestly don't file those things away- they stick for a bit and then I forget. Men and women judge you if you are ugly or pretty so I guess the anger that comes at me with that, there are some questions on here that I'm sure will prove that. It's just made me stronger and lean on supportive amazing fans more. I've had a stalker- like the FBI had to follow him to 3 states...so that was not cute.
Is it cold outside?
Simple question: Are you happy?
I don't want you to end up like Greg Giraldo, one of the funniest people I've ever seen. You seem normal, you seem happy, and I've been watching you for years.
So, are you?
Overall yes. I'm human and have dark days and down moments but when I'm working I'm happy. I don't like not being busy and not kissing boys I like ;)
How do you think your physical appearance (you're hot) has affected your comedy?
SEe you say hot but others might not. Also growing up I never got that praise (I wasn't a troll but I wasn't a hot chick) so I think people are quick to disregard women if they are ugly or pretty. Being attractive has it's pluses and minuses just as being "unattractive" can- but at the end of the day, I control how I look and what I feel like looking, I can't control how dumb other people react because of it
A few years ago on The Weakly News you spoke negatively about uncircumcised men. I'm just curious to know have you ever been with an uncircumcised man before? Also, was that really how you felt about it or have you changed your mind about it?
I HAVE CHANGED MY MIND AND I RETRACT MY STATEMENT! It was an unfounded view and I think it has more to do with the culture/person/personal hygiene than the actual idea of circumcision. MAN I took a lot of heat for that one, oh well- who cares, we're at war and the world is melting!
Just how spoiled is Blanche? Based on your Instagram photos I feel like she's treated better than a middle class family's Golden Retriever.
Spoiled implies she has an attitude. No one is ever considered spoiled if they are kind. She is most merciful and travels a lot and puts up with a lot more than most dogs. Also? She is a rescue dog, and I rescued her to give her a wonderful life. That's all I want.
Yes! I love you Iliza! Your sets have helped me through some tough times, thank you for being so great!
Blanche is majestic and merciful, and she always seems to be so calm traveling and around people! Does she ever get overwhelmed or scared? Did you do any special training for her to be so comfortable on the road or in front of everyone? What IS she waiting for?
BEBO is most merciful and exercises her mercy most of the time. So if we do a meet and great (meat and great) and I can see her yawning (which means she is stressed) or turning away from people, I will have a security guard or friend just hold her. I try to never take advantage of how patient she is. SHE IS WAITING FOR....
Hey Iliza congrats on the new show and everything else!
I'm still sitting here waiting for season 2 of Grasping At Straws!
Do you still stay in contact with any of those guys or have any plans to work with them again?
HAHAHA aw! I'm good friends with Mark Ellis who has Schmoes Know, shout out to my buddy, but no there will be no season one..there was barely a season 2.. AW, my acting debut! hahaha
Wondering if you have plans to get any of the bigger women in comedy on your podcast? I truly think you might be the funniest but it would blow my mind to combine your powers with Shumer or Silverman.
WE ARE OPEN TO ALL!
What's your advice to any guys who wanna take you out for some chicken wraps, IPAs, and maybe a magic show?
It's real. I'm not afraid.
I don't want those things...weirdo. ;)
Hey Iliza! Always wondered , What is your opinion of Robin Williams both as a standup comedian in the past and as an actor? - nate from miami :)
NATE. he was a brilliant soul and he had an outstanding comedic as well as dramatic career. He is unparalleled and in his own class. I have goosebumps as I write this. I also have to pee.
You must get asked questions about women in comedy all the time? Do you like the discussion? Do your role models tend to be women?
I don't mind speaking my mind, some questions are important others are just lazy journalism. I admire many women but I think growing up I looked up to men because there were more men in comedy - I think my fearlessness comes from modeling myself after guys like Chris Farley or just male comedians.
Hey, I'm a trucker. Just wanted to say that your podcast is one of my favorites and you are one of the quickest, most hilarious guests on every podcast you are on. I will be sure to watch your new show!
I was wondering if you had any favorite podcasts? Also do you ever plan to do more improv as opposed to standup?
hahah I don't have a ton of free time and I'm not a great listener without getting distracted. I should listen to more podcasts, or any, really. I don't plan to do improv, it takes years to refine that skill, but I plan on always doing great crowd work!
I have dabbled.
Thanks for doing this! Three questions:
Before you became one, what comedian did you love to listen to or watch growing up?
When did you first realize that people were laughing with you and not at you?
If you could only have one type of cheese for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I'll just answer the last one ...I would be the stinkiest cheese out there because the odor would put off all the non die hard fans and I would be left with people who truly loved me for me!
Do other comics make you nervous when you're around them or are they nervous around you?
You've hosted shows before. Are you a natural at hosting?
I think in the presence of a monster I get a little nervous, I think that's natural. To be humbled by someone who is "better" than you. I'm sure I make other comics nervous but all they have to do is say hi and be cool and I'll be cool. I should remember my own advice.
Iliza, I can't wait to see you in Royal Oak on Friday! Best birthday present I could have asked for, and my party goblin will most certainly be making an appearance.
What breed, or mix of breeds, is Blanche? I know she's a rescue, but I wasn't sure if the shelter had any clue!
Bebo is half North American Short Legged Fox Face, Half Tiny Tip. SEE YOU THIS WEEKEND
Hi Iliza, my sister and I think you are hilarious. We have watched Freezing Hot and War Paint so many times and quote it randomly (to the confusion of others).
Are you going to do another Netflix comedy special? If so, when? Also, are you planning on doing a stand-up tour in Canada?
I can't say WHO it is for but the next one tapes April 23 in chicago at The Old Vic, tickets are on sale now. I won't do a TOUR of canada but I always do Canadian dates, I fucking love Canadian audiences...so so much. (AND TIM HORTONS! FRENCH VANILLA FTW)
who wins in a fight between Catwoman and the Joker and how? no weapons allowed
Catwoman, duh- joker only has toys, not really known for his hand 2 hand combat.
What's the worst you've ever physically hurt someone (either intentionally or accidentally)?
Does vehicular manslaughter (voluntary or involuntary or just for funsies then felt real real bad) count?
Hey! Huge fan here! I was stunned to learn your raptorvag noise is the same as my Predator imitation. What was the inspiration for it?
Hi Iliza! I discovered your stuff not too long ago, but I'm a big fan. I just have one question for you - What did it take to get back on stage after your first (or worst) bomb, and what did you learn from that experience?
I've never bombed. I have the confidence of a cheetah running down a limping gazelle.
Iliza, Thanks for doing this AMA! My wife and I are fans!
Do restaurants or other places give you any crap for bringing Blanche in?
NO. I never thought to not bring her, I just started doing it. I'm cool to waiters (I've been one) and so I zip her into her dog bag and she sleeps so it just looks like I have a gym bag. AT the end if she pokes her head out, honestly? No waiter gives a fuck.
Are you performing anywhere near Philly anytime soon?
iliza.com/tour for you!
I'm a big fan and my wife loved the show when you came to Charlotte last year. What are your favorite cities to tour in? Any plans to come back to Charlotte?
I will always go back to where I am wanted!
What kind of dog is Blanche?
A South American Merciful Tiny Tip
So you came to Des Moines for a last comic standing tour. I remember almost running into you and after you walked away I thought "that was Iliza." I regret not telling you that you were fucking hilarious in person. Apparently I have to ask a question. Why are you so fucking hilarious?
I remember not that long ago Todd Barry saying he got asked to do interviews with a podcast and a half dozen blogs every town he went to, and he always said no because he didn't want to burn material. Now he has a podcast and is a crowd work comic making up stuff nightly. Do you think the ubiquity of comics hosting podcasts has upped everyone's game, in terms of generating material? Any down side to them all?
IF you are a comic, you will always be funny and naturally generate material. I do my podcast and what happens there is for that platform. If something funny I say sticks with me, then I'll say it again. The idea that you are saying something so brilliant and widely consumed that you can't reuse it is ridiculous. That only applies to late night sets and specials, can't tell the same joke 2X... but you can come close
I am dying for you to interview more rappers that are doing big things.. the Chamillionaire podcast is my absolute favorite!!! Your conversations and the way you played off each other was so entertaining. What are the chances of getting more on air time with rappers?!
I would love that. Rappers and I both understand the HU$TLE so I'm open to it...I also wanna be in a rap video...so bad.
Hey Iliza, I know you grew up in Texas, but now reside in California. Putting aside career and cost of living which area do you prefer and why?
I can't put either of those aside. That's like saying "putting aside the bombing and constant war, how do you find Bagram?"
What's a joke you've always wanted to do, but were afraid of it totally bombing?
Ugh, it's this prop joke where I take a can of gasoline and a match...
Have you considered a tour of Scandinavia? Would Blanche have mercy on Sweden?
If she were allowed, I suppose she would...
I'm sorry for the time I met you and kind of cried. I was a little drunk and very overjoyed.
Who is one person you're DYING to get on the podcast?
Caught your recent show in Vancouver, great stuff. You should really just move here because L.A will likely be ground zero for the impending apocalypse if that oompaloompa running for the republicans actually wins the presidency. Is Separation Anxiety being aired on any Canadian Networks? If not tell them to get on that, we are an equal people, stop depriving us!!
I can't confirm that... can you like...hack into a system or... cross a border?
Do you know comics like Doug Stanhope's Eddie from Louie? Are they a motivator for you, or do you like the lifestyle on the road?
I actually really enjoy seeing new cities and getting some quiet time and meeting fans. It's a grind but it is my life and I'm lucky to have amazing fans. Sounds sappy but I like it!
if u had a character in a down and dirty mortal kombat-style fighting game, what fighting moves would you have?
I would have the ability to freeze you but let your brain absorb all the pointed and horrific things I had to say about you without you realizing I had said them and then unfreeze you so you were just left with the emotion lingering of what I had said, but no idea why you felt that way. I would do that till you cracked and died of insanity.
Yes. I didn't need the prompt!
Were/are you active at the Comedy Cellar? Does its status as hallowed ground change the vibe of a show?
No, I'm from LA... The Comedy Store and The Improvs are my homes!
You are the person of the stage. Are you afraid of the black magic, bad/evil eye, and curses from people who might envy amazing you?
NO. My light overcomes all darkness. I think about this battle often. I'm confident I would win if it came down to it. FUCK THE GYPSIES
Need some more proof here.
We aren't doing photos with pieces of paper or anything anymore?
yeah it is, but great work
Hi Iliza! My sister and I are huge fans of yours. We love your stand up and will be watching Separation Anxiety because you are so awesome!
I have two questions for you if that is alright:
Do you have any advice for someone that is in a new relationship?
What is your favorite #PartyGoblin moment or story?
Thanks for doing this AMA! Say hi to Blanche for me and I hope to see you next time you're in Minnesota!
New relationship? A romantic one? Try crying a little in the first week- A- to see how pretty your eyes look and B- to see what they can handle. SEE YOU IN MINNESOTA!
1 -- PIAR!! Do you still keep in touch with Alexis and Brian from TheStream/The Weakly News?
2 -- I got to meet you and Blanche after your Baltimore show. Sorry the 98Rock morning show appearances never go better. :\
ALEXIS I cast in my new ABC webseries FOREVER31 which comes out in MAY! 98 Rock can S a D.
How did the idea for Separation Anxiety come about?
5X5 Media (google them) came up with it and called me and pitched it to me. I just made it funny, I had nothing to do with the show idea :)
Thanks for doing this AMA Iliza! Me and my wife are huge fans!!
What is the absolute weirdest question a fan has ever asked you?
Also why did you take that epic Instagram pic from Mexico down?
Also give Blanche a boop for me!
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