After watching Iliza Shlesinger’s “Unveiled” special on Netflix, I finally understood why I had never heard of her until two days ago. What was supposed to be an hour filled with laughter quickly took a turn for the worst.
The ongoing sounds Shlesinger made throughout her performance were painful to my ears. Her never-ending variety of weird accents distracted from the jokes and made the performance unbearable. She began the show by imitating a millennial white woman, and then proceeded to act as an aggressive male, a southern lady and a goat, just to name a few.
Instead of speaking in a normal tone, Shlesinger opted for a deep grunting sound that would stem from the back of her throat. I wish I could say it stopped there, but it didn’t. She would occasionally screech at the top of her lungs loud enough to trigger a headache. It sounded like a mix between a dying hyena and a screech owl. There were times where she spoke so fast I had to pause the episode and let my brain mentally process what she was saying.
— Iliza Shlesinger (@iliza) November 19, 2019
Shlesinger’s lack of relatability prompted me to zone out for her most of her performance. Since she just got married, the special was spent discussing various marital topics. For example, she rambled on as to why she didn’t wear a garter on her big day. It quickly began to feel as if I was listening to her autobiography on audio. These feelings only passed when she began to discuss broader topics, such as millennial habits. I found it confusing as to how she expected her audience to relate to such a specific moment in time, like a wedding. After all, I think it’s safe to say wedding jokes are not nearly as funny when you’re not married.
While this is a point of contention, I don’t believe comedy is an excuse for insensitive or inappropriate jokes. Within the first 10 minutes, Shlesinger undermined the disastrous effects of PTSD, specifically from Vietnam. While I understand comedy is meant to poke fun at serious things, PTSD crosses a line. It’s a struggle that debilitates thousands of people across the country and has no humorous aspect to it. There are a plethora of different topics Shlesinger could have picked from.
Despite my low rating of the comedian, she seems to be relatively popular in society. Not only is “Unveiled” her fifth Netflix special, but she’s also an author and podcaster. According to Shlesinger’s website, she is the only female and youngest comedian to hold the title of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.”
Rating: 1.7 out of 5 stars