REVIEW: Iliza Shlesinger’s fifth comedy special is more than ‘amAAAzing’


"Comedian Iliza Shlesinger performs for service members during the TODAY/USO Comedy Tour at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, October 1, 2014. CC BY NC-ND 2.0

Derek Catron

Iliza Shlesinger returned to familiar topics in her amazing new comedy special, “Unveiled.”

It was amazing, not “amAAAzing.”

“When a woman says ‘amAAAzing’ what she actually means is ‘Oh my god, this is not about me and I don’t care and I’m a little insecure about it, but I want to make sure I’m being a good feminist and saying amazing back but in actuality it’s boring,’” Shlesinger joked during her opening take on feminism.

She promised us last year during her engagement to Noah Galuten that she would return with a post-wedding comedy special. This follow up to the instant classic “Elder Millennial” did not disappoint. 

Shlesinger’s perspective on gender issues is as refreshing as any comedians’ in the business. It’s her forte. 

This time, the 36-year-old “elder millennial” got to joke about men and women from a married woman’s point of view.

She fit a lot of sharp observations and hysterical anecdotes into the 78-minute wedding-themed performance – lifting the veil on wedding traditions, bachelorette parties, feminism, men and how they differ from women.

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She joked about the modern phenomenon of women feeling pressured to like all other women in the name of a movement that is supposed to enable freedom of choice and thought.

She said, “That isn’t feminism, that’s communism.”

I can’t fully relate, but I do feel similarly pressured to give her comedy special a good review considering the all-too-common overscrutinzation of female comedians joking about female-specific issues (as if men don’t joke about male-specific issues).

And while that is her niche, she’s one of the best in the business at it, and I can honestly give this special an outstanding review.

She’s arguably the best comedian at ripping into men without alienating them as fans. She loves to poke fun at us, and I’m here for it. The jokes are all in good taste (and painfully accurate).

Reminding her male members of the audience that it’s just fun, she said, “I don’t like to shit on men. I shit on everyone and together we rise. I love men. I married one. And I slept with a bunch of hot ones right before – like right before.”

Shlesinger’s focus has always been women and their frustrating dealings with men. She includes enough material for men that they can enjoy her work, but some of the jokes are just for the ladies. There was one about a garter?

What is a garter? Pants of some kind? I won’t pretend to know.

What sets this special apart from her previous ones was her organization. She broke her material into sections underneath one overall theme. It was cleverly written, and executed with precision and enthusiasm (and her signature goat noise.)

I’m not sure I agree with her “amAAAzing” presidential campaign idea, but I did enjoy her latest comedy special. I’ve added it to my mental list of rewatchable comedies.