Iliza Shlesinger is the queen of puppy content during social distancing
Watch the exclusive trailer for The Iliza Shlesinger Sketch Show, which hits Netflix on April 1.
Comedian Iliza Shlesinger knows how to give her fans what they want: she's made five Netflix specials in seven years, she has a crazy passionate love scene with Mark Wahlberg in Netflix's new movie Spenser Confidential, and she's currently doing an Instagram Live series with her chef husband, Noah Galuten, while we're all social distancing. What's the needle that threads them all? Somewhere along the way, you'll notice her love for dogs, and that extends to her brand new show on Netflix: The Iliza Shlesinger Sketch Show, which launches April 1.
"Anybody who follows me online knows that I'm always singing to my dog. Anybody who has a dog has sung gibberish songs to their dog," Shlesinger tells EW over the phone, explaining the inspiration for a sketch in her new show: a remix of A Star Is Born, except Lady Gaga is someone who can't stop singing to her dog. "I got to hold a pomeranian all day, which is the real reason I do most things."
That my friends, is a mood.
Shlesinger's six-part sketch show (watch the trailer exclusively above) goes from scene to scene like you're scrolling through your Netflix queue, except it all takes place in Shlesinger's mind. There's a trainer who helps dudes get "fat ripped." There's an infomercial for Mom Alert, a push notification service that gives you the most up-to-date, unnecessary information. And, of course, there's a pomeranian.
"We wanted to think of a way that we could do irreverent, fun social commentary, without it being like a basic sketch format," Shlesinger says.
Shlesinger spoke to EW about her extensive work with puppers (shout out to her very own, named Tian Fu). She also gave us an inside look at what her life has been like post-coronavirus outbreak, including her cooking show, Don't Panic Pantry.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First I wanted to talk about your stand-up. Take us to the moment when you realize that you were going to have to reschedule all your tour dates because of the coronavirus pandemic. How hectic was that?
ILIZA SHLESINGER: Hectic isn't the word, because it's been a very slow train wreck. It's like you watch the first car stop, and then you keep thinking, "Oh, that'll be the last car." I first felt the effects of it back when I was hours away from getting on a plane to Australia a couple of weeks ago. We had tacked on a couple of Asia dates for this tour that I'm doing. We made a game-time decision as I was boarding and getting ready for Australia to cancel Vietnam and Thailand. We came home and I was able to do a couple more stateside gigs. Days before they locked up all of Denver, we had canceled that gig. We just watched every other state start to follow suit. I canceled, I mean, we're talking in the tens of thousands of tickets for all of these stateside days. I just got off the phone with my manager. We were talking about my Europe tour, which is coming up. We're having to make some very tough decisions.
Comedians like Mike Birbiglia are doing live streams now. He's doing a really good thing with helping comedy club staff. And you're doing this cooking show Don't Panic Pantry which is live every day at 5 p.m. PT. Everybody's moving toward an Insta Live lifestyle. You're trying to find at least some way to entertain your fans. How much of that is the inspiration behind doing the cooking show in the first place?
A lot, absolutely. We're all figuring out ways to donate money and if you can't donate money, keeping the spirits up. Through Don't Panic Pantry, it's something for us to look forward to every day, no matter how we're feeling. For people who perhaps aren't social distancing with a partner, maybe it makes them feel a little bit less alone.
Is there something that you can claim you make better than your husband?
No, I know I'm supposed to say reservations [laughs]. I don't really make anything. I don't dislike cooking. I don't love cooking. I like watching how good he is. So...I'm really good at making a scene.
Speaking of making a scene, your character in Spenser Confidential was hilarious. One of the biggest twists in the movie (that we'll spoil) is that you find out you are living with a lot of dogs in your apartment. What was that experience like?
Some say that it's the A-storyline! Well, we did some additional shooting. As we fleshed out Cissy, she became more of a person and they gave me more and more which is great. So when I flew back to Boston, they said they were going to shoot at my [character's] apartment. Who doesn't want to spend the day around dogs? The art department did such a beautiful job. I mean, her house has like every dog accessory and dog poster. I had requested a pomeranian, but my request went unanswered. It was all big dogs. My favorite part of the scene is when I tell the dogs to leave with me and I call one of the dogs Smokey. Smokey is the name I had given to my husband online. I put that in there as a little Easter egg for my fans.
You know, what, if they want me to advise, I'm going to need consulting producer credit, okay? I think Netflix has my number. I think I deserve a check, by the way, because of the number of people that have written to me right now saying I wasn't going to watch the show until I saw your commentary. I sound like our president.
The Iliza Shlesinger Sketch Show
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