FLMag: What a great way to live your life, with the gift of laughter.
IS: I think if everyone had the choice, they’d all have a great sense of humor but in case you can’t tell a joke, I’m here to tell one for you.
FLMag: Was getting into comedy an accident or was it your plan?
IS: Definitely not an accident. I’ve been funny my whole life and I knew I’d make a living at it, and 20 years later in the business I’m still doing it. Despite what a lot of people think, coming to Florida is also not an accident – I’m very much looking forward to it.
FLMag: Were you a classroom joker? How old were you when you told your first joke?
IS: You know, if I wasn’t the class clown and I was really good at math and science, then this is a really unfortunate career path. Every interview asks that; I never really know how to answer it. I just always remember, making people laugh was always the goal.
FLMag: Is there a secret to getting all these huge laughs?
IS: If there was a secret, I probably wouldn’t share it, because I make a lot of money off the secret. But the truth is, it really takes practice like any other art, like dance, like any sport or anything you hope to get good at. There’s a repetition, you have to be good at it anyway, but there’s a science to it and there’s a craft to it. Anybody can tell a joke, any idiot can get a laugh, but it takes a special idiot to get a laugh 100 percent of the time.
FLMag: What about at home? Does the laughter help create harmony in your family? You have one child – like, with your husband, do you create harmony because you’re a comedian? Are things funny? Do you make jokes out of things?
IS: I think that there’s humor to be gleaned from everything. When you’re a comic, it’s hard not to make a joke out of everything, especially with a little baby. It might be funny if they scream but you have to remind them, don’t do that. But life is better when you’re laughing at people, and even better when you’re laughing with people.
FLMag: How do you feel about being the youngest comedian, and the only female, to hold the title of NBC’s Last Comic Standing?
IS: Well Deb, I’ll be honest. I felt pretty good about it in 2008. In 2023, I don’t think about it. But it’s certainly a notch on my belt in terms of broadcast television achievements.
FLMag: You’re not only a comedian and a writer, you starred – and brilliantly, I might add – with Mark Wahlberg in the action comedy film Spenser Confidential. Do you continue seeing yourself doing this more and more, or do you see yourself doing standup comedy?
IS: The answer is – and I know women aren’t allowed to give this answer, but I’ll give it – I see myself doing all of it. I’ve got a full tank, and I plan on raising my daughter and doing standup and doing every passion project that I can get my hands on. We come to Hollywood to do and act and create and we’ve got a lot of things planned for this year, and we don’t plan on stopping.
FLMag: What comedian makes you laugh the most? Do you have a favorite comedian?
IS: You know, I’m not a big standup watcher, and I think a big part of that was not wanting to accidentally steal anything. But I watch a lot of content of the people. People make funny clips. People make content, they put it online, and it never ceases to amaze me how funny everyday people can be. And of course I think my friends are funny, and of course I think LA has the best comics. But yeah, comedy is everywhere.
WHO: Iliza Schlesinger
WHEN: 3/18, 8pm
WHERE: Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood