Daily RFT: Do you get crap from other comics about being on Last Comic Standing?
Iliza Shlesinger: It's one of those shows that I find a lot of people are quick to make fun of, but then they say, 'I've auditioned for it.'
It's like the Olympics of comedy. If you're a singer, there's a plethora of song-shows you can do, like America's Got Talent or American Idol. But when it comes to standup, that's the best way to get out there. There have been people who've launched their careers on there, and people who've probably ended their careers on there.
The contestants on your new reality show, Excused, say some deliciously stupid things. How do you correct them without them turning on you?
Well, that's definitely a fine line I try to walk. My rule is, if you're
doing the best you can and you're having fun and you're trying to make
good TV, then I'm on your side.
If you're sitting there being annoying or you're being difficult, and you make a mistake when you're speaking, I will not correct you. I'm just like, 'Fine, you're gonna sound stupid and that's your own fault.'
Do you check the Internet to see what people are saying about you?
yeah! And anyone who says they don't is a liar. And I'll tell you
something else: When you called just now, I was busy watching my web
show that I taped on Saturday. You watch it to see how you look on
camera, or if there's anything you did wrong, because you're always
trying to be a better performer. It's like watching a tape of yourself
if you're an athlete.
As a comic, we all have that syndrome
where the whole room laughs, but one guy in the front isn't, so that's
what you fixate on. So I'll see a whole page [of comments] that says 'We
love you!' and one guys writes, 'You suck,' and I'm like 'Why doesn't
he like me?'
My philosophy is (not that I invite it): If someone
takes the time to analyze and scrutinize your performance and write to
you, that takes a lot of energy from them, and I'll take it as a
I understand you performed for U.S. troops in Singapore, Guam, El Salvador, and Honduras - how did that go?
not exactly the danger zone, but the soldiers stationed in those places
also need entertainment and I was more than happy to go. I'd do it for
Standup comedy is so selfish - it's so about you and your
validation. But when you do a show for the soldiers, it's like,
'Whatever you guys need, I'll do it on a dining room table in a closet.'
That sounded so dirty.
Well, it's gotta be lonely at those bases - have any of the soldiers proposed to you?
you really underestimate how important it is [to the soldiers]. They
want your headshots, they want your comedy CDs. They just want to feel
like they're still part of the real world. And they're so happy to have
some change in their regular routine.