Motherhood hasn't slowed down Iliza Shlesinger's stand-up – Edmonton Journal

Motherhood hasn't slowed down Iliza Shlesinger's stand-up – Edmonton Journal

We talked to comedian Iliza Shlesinger about her Back in Action Tour, becoming a mom, and growing up in public
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With five Netflix specials to her name, a growing arsenal of movie credits, one published book and another on the way, Iliza Shlesinger is among the most popular standup comics working today.

We talked to the 39-year-old New York-born, Dallas-raised comedian about her Back in Action Tour, becoming a mother and growing up in public.
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Shlesinger will be in Edmonton for a performance Saturday at the Jubilee Auditorium.

Q How long have you been on the Back in Action Tour?

A: I just shot my special in Cleveland, and that comes out in a few weeks. I’ve been doing this tour for a couple of months now. This Canadian leg, ‘cos it’s connected with Calgary and Edmonton, is sort of me wrapping up the Back in Action Tour.

Q: So is the thinking that you want to stop touring the show before the special comes out?

A: Every comic is different. By the time you see me the hour is different. I shot it in July. It’s changed. It’s a different experience.

Q: You don’t write on the computer, you just work routines out onstage. Is that right?

A: That’s exactly right. I go up locally here at home in L.A. and I treat it like, if you’re a bodybuilder you’ve got to go to the gym. I go up and do my sets at clubs here. I’m expounding on ideas.

Q: You recently did five sets in one night?

A: We did it this past weekend. The sets are 15 minutes long. While you’re out, if you can do another one within the hour why not? The last time I did five sets I think was when my dog Blanche was still alive, pre-pandemic. It’s nice to connect with new audiences and exhaust yourself and get a frozen yogurt at the end of the night.

Q: Has motherhood changed the way you tour? Do you just do short jaunts?

A: I guess I always did. For the most part, you’re talking about Thursday, Friday, Saturday, maybe you add a Sunday. This isn’t like a rock group. But it’s really just more emotional. Knowing that my daughter is at home, food tastes a little less sweet, coffee’s a little less exciting. Hopefully, she’ll get to come to some of the big shows. It’s a heartbreak like I’ve never known but standup is still one of my favourite things in the world.

Q: Has there been any fallout from fans who related to you when you were single and childless?

A: I feel like I’ve always been a representative for women. It’s more about getting to grow up with me. In my 20s I talked about dating and the girl’s point-of-view but then you start to mature in your 30s. Then I did a special about getting married. What I love is that younger people are still able to find those specials and connect with them. If you’re older and you get to grow up with me, which is the main feedback I get, it’s like I’m right there with you. It’s a privilege that people see it that way.

Q: You’ve said the current show is the best hour that you’ve written. When you say that, do you mean the funniest, or the most thought-provoking, or the best-structured?

A: I think it’s all three. Hopefully every hour you write as a comic feels like the best one. I think the show is a lot of fun, it’s energetic, it’s super thought-provoking and it’s meaningful. Especially towards the end. I really plant my flag on a couple of claims. But nobody wants you to have a better time at a comedy show than me. I always keep in mind the user experience.

Q: You’ve got a second book coming out, All Things Aside: Absolutely Correct Opinions, in October. We take it you used a computer?

A: I did use a computer, yes. I’m very familiar with Microsoft Word now. It’s difficult to capture your thoughts before, during and after a pregnancy. That’s less to do with the pregnancy and more to do with constantly changing chemically and wanting to make sure that what you write you will stand by. It’s a labour of love and I’m really proud of it.

Iliza Shlesinger

Where: Jubilee Auditorium, 11445 87 Ave.

When: Two performances at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., Sept. 17,

Tickets: Starting at $62.25 at

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