“Last Comic Standing” Season 6 winner Iliza Shlesinger is just wrapping up shooting of 130 episodes of her “Excused” syndicated dating show — her main focus for the last seven months. She doesn’t mind admitting she’s looking forward to getting back to her old life as “a successful standup comedian who toured constantly. Standup comedy is the passion of my life.”
“Excused,” which joins the VH1 lineup Nov. 14, has met with criticism for just about everything from its not-so-bright contestants to its high raunch factor and its mansion location that’s been likened to a porn movie set. But the comedian herself has remained relatively unscathed, often called the best thing about the show. No wonder they increased her on-camera time.
“I’ve been lucky to be given the chance to be on a show where I get to be funny,” she stresses. As for those contestants, “Thank God it’s different every day, that we don’t have a cast that is constant. Some of these people are mind-bashingly stupid. But, for every idiot we get, we also get a colorful character who is a lot of fun.” And some are even bright, Iliza contends. “Sometimes we get people on the show who’ll say, ‘I’m a lawyer,’ or ‘I’m currently getting a Ph.D. and I’ll think, ‘Why?! Why are you here?’ I really am surprised by the diversity on the show. We get all walks of life.”
Shlesinger’s comedy has bite, but she usually manages not to alienate her audience. “You can’t be mean to women,” she claims. “Women won’t like you, and if women don’t like you, they won’t let guys watch it. I’m not the hottest chick in the world, and I would never want to make a girl feel bad about the way she looks. Guys — you kind of can because they have a thicker skin.” It’s okay, however, to point out to a female when she’s been behaving badly. “Like the ones who’ll say they never would kiss on a first date, and then make out with four guys.”