Comedian Iliza Shlesinger draws crowd of about 470 in Warriner Hall Saturday night
Comedian Iliza Shlesinger described her jokes as being “years in the making” before her set in Platcha Auditorium Saturday night.
Shlesinger is the winner of the sixth season of “Last Comic Standing,” and is distinguished as not only the first woman to win the popular reality TV program, but also as the youngest winner of the show. Shlesinger is also the host of the syndicated dating show “Excused.”
Comedian Al Jackson opened for Shlesinger. Jackson has been featured in a 30-minute Comedy Central special and has also been a coach for the popular MTV show “Made.”
The performance brought in a crowd of about 470 students.
Shlesinger’s performance featured a high level of student participation, including interacting with the audience about several of their majors. She even used a Central Michigan student as a “microphone stand” as she displayed her dog, Blanche, to the crowd while singing Sarah McLachlan, mocking the well-known “The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals” commercial.
While asking a student where Muskegon was, she backed up in mock dismay as several students tried to show her the location of the city using the palm of their hand.
“Not everyone knows what that means,” Shlesinger said, referring to the popular Michigan tradition. “I feel like I just walked into a rotary club, and this is their cult greeting.”
Shlesinger said her comedy is inspired, in part, by sketch comedy, found in several popular shows such as “Saturday Night Live” and “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”
“I really enjoy sketch comedy,” Shlesinger said. “Comedians like Chris Taylor and Adam Sandler have always been an influence.”
Shlesinger said she believed the reason she has been so successful is that her comedy is directly relatable to her audiences’ lives.
“Everyone has their personal topics,” Shlesinger said. “My comedy has always been very strong on observational humor, it stems from what I see every day in my life.”
Shlesinger said her rise through “Last Comic Standing” made her unique when compared to several other comedians.
“I got to skip out on five to six years of performing in small scale comedy clubs,” Shlesinger said. “It never happens this fast.”
Renaldo Powell, a Wayne junior, said he enjoyed Shlesinger’s performance.
“I thought she was hilarious,” Powell said. “I really enjoyed her use of improvisational comedy. That was impressive.”
Powell said although he hadn’t heard Shlesinger’s material before the Saturday night performance, he wasn’t surprised at all that she won “Last Comic Standing.”
“She’s just that good,” he said.
Program Board’s comedy chair, De Yonko Thomas, who organized the show, said he thought the night was very successful.
“Overall, the show went really well,” the Sterling Heights sophomore said. “This was one of the best performers we have brought in, and I feel it reflects the consistent quality of the acts that we have always brought in and will continue to bring in.”
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