Last Comic Standing’s Iliza Shlesinger Shows Tempe Some Love

Written by Wynter Holden Category: Culture Issue: February 2016

Photo courtesy Iliza ShlesingerThey say it’s tough to be a woman in a man’s world. That’s especially true for female comics, who make up a mere 25 percent of stand-up professionals.

The late Christopher Hitchens stirred up controversy over the so-called “unfunny” sex when he penned a 2007 column for Vanity Fair titled “Why Women Aren’t Funny.” But comediennes like Netflix star Iliza Shlesinger and Emmy award-winning actress Tina Fey of 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live fame have proven women have a solid foothold in today’s comedy scene.

Shlesinger was the lone female comedian to take home the title of “Last Comic Standing” in the eponymous NBC reality show, after beating out Jeff Dye and Marcus in the season six finale. The Dallas native went on to host dating shows Excused (CBS) and Separation Anxiety; the latter is scheduled to premiere on TBS March 8. Shlesinger also performed with the USO, on E! Network's Chelsea Lately and in the solo Netflix comedy specials War Paint and Freezing Hot.

Shlesinger’s next stop is the Tempe Improv, where she will headline nightly February 25-27. With the sappy sentiments of Valentine’s Day barely fading from memory – thanks, Hallmark! – now is the perfect time to soak up her acerbic diatribes about love, life and relationships.

Shlesinger describes her perfect date as involving a boatload of red wine and a hearty makeout session, after which she would ditch the guy and head for pizza. Because, of course, eating out while still on the date would require delicately nibbling on salad rather than stuffing a gooey, saucy pie into her mouth.

The sassy comedienne is equally adept at ending relationships, preferring to carefully engineer their destruction rather than allowing things to fizzle out. “I put time and effort into these breakups,” Shlesinger quips in Freezing Hot. “You put time and effort into dating me, I’m going to return said time and effort (plus interest, it’s a very good ROI) on that breakup!”

General admission tickets are $22 (18 and over only). Visit tempeimprov.com for info.