Tag Archives: Last Comic Standing

‘Excused’ Contestants Not All ‘Mind-Bashingly Stupid’ Says Iliza Shlesinger

Iliza Shlesinger

“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.”

Fortune Feimster Surprised by Arnold Schwarzenegger Tweet Response

Fortune Feimster

“Chelsea Lately” writer/performer Fortune Feimster was surprised by the widespread retweeting and re-quoting of her Twitter comment last week regarding the revelation of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s love child.  The rising comedy performer cracked:  “Good thing Arnold Schwarzenegger has been upholding the sanctity of marriage since apparently us gay folks don’t know how to” — and the remark was picked up by entities including The Los Angeles Times.

She then got some flak from people who defended Schwarzenegger.  “I’m not trying to offend anybody, but he vetoed two marriage equality bills, and I have a right to point that out,” notes Fortune, who is poised, articulate, steady and very, very smart.

We know that she is all those things, because she was on staff here at Beck/Smith Hollywood Exclusive for several years while cutting her teeth in the comedy realm.  She is also an alumna of the famed The Groundlings improv company as well as a standup comic seen in clubs on both coasts and in-between — who got her first national exposure last year on “Last Comic Standing.”

The intensity of a burgeoning show business career would be plenty to deal with without the added responsibility of being watched as an out gay woman.  But “I don’t mind having that responsibility,” she says.  “I’m a gay person.  Obviously I have strong opinions about our rights.”

Fortune Feimster, Chelsea Handler

MEANWHILE:  Chelsea Handler couldn’t be a hotter property, of course, with the new “Lies That Chelsea Told Me” attaining No. 1 on the New York Times Best Seller List, her popular E! show, and now, her newly picked-up NBC prime time series, “Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea.”  (Laura Prepon is playing Chelsea, while the comedian herself shows up as a recurring character, Chelsea’s sister.)  For Fortune, the focus is Handler’s 11:00 show and all the convivial contretemps that go with it.

How does she feel about Chelsea’s remarks about her clothes, her size — calling her “Mister”?  “It’s like getting picked on by a big sister.  It’s all out of love.  She doesn’t say anything about me that I don’t joke about myself.  I never feel it’s out of meanness.  She also jokes about herself and other people, like Brad (Wollack) and his red hair.  She homes in on whatever it is that makes you different,” says the North Carolina-born performer, who stresses that she’s grateful to her very funny boss.

Up ’til now, Fortune’s job requirements have included antics from portraying the singer Meatloaf and terminally chic reality personality Rachel Zoe — to having to be seen in a bikini top.  She doesn’t mind looking ridiculous, but “I’m not one to bare it all,” she says.  “I have my limits.  No nudity.”

NBC Shares Our Ms. Fortune

When NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” premieres tonight (6/7), readers will have the chance to see this column’s own Emily-Fortune Feimster – just Fortune Feimster onstage – doing her comedic thing.

Talented as she is as an interviewer and writer, the North Carolina-born funny lady’s heart is understandably in her burgeoning performing career.  She has said goodbye to Beck/Smith Hollywood after contributing for six years.  She’s been performing full-time, with L.A.’s The Groundlings sketch comedy company, regularly doing stand-up at The Comedy Store, and elsewhere.  We miss her, but we’re happy, proud and cheering her on!