For comedian Iliza Shlesinger, telling jokes on Netflix is ‘terrifying, but cool’

iliza shlesinger netflix freezing hot interview 003
Netflix
Comedian Iliza Shlesinger’s star has been on the rise since winning the NBC reality show Last Comic Standing. Since then, she’s made a name for herself as successful touring comic, hosted a reality dating show, and released her own comedy special, War Paint.

But it wasn’t until now, with her first Netflix original comedy special Freezing Hot set for release on Jan. 23, that Shlesinger finally feels like she’s “sitting at the cool kids’ table.”

Iliza-Shlesinger-interview-001
Netflix
Netflix

In Freezing Hot, Shlesinger ribs on many topics, including Pinterest, which she calls “porn for white women.” The humor in her previous special was more observational, but this time, she takes a closer look at male-female interactions on and off the Internet.

Netflix – which has said it will crank out much more original programming this year than it did in 2014 – previously acquired Shlesinger’s one-hour comedy debut, War Paint, along with a myriad of outlets. On Netflix, though, War Paint did so well that the streaming service decided to call dibs on her next special.

“They came to me and said we want the next one to be a Netflix original,” the 31-year-old comedian tells Digital Trends. “The great thing about them is this isn’t some network that takes your special and chops it up. This is your baby, through and through, and it stays that way. And having a company this big and popular put faith in an artist is … terrifying, but really cool.”

It’s also really important to the streaming service, which said this week it added 4.3 million subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2014 and plans to kick its original programming binge up a few notches in 2015.

“Standup is a tough job and a gritty job. I’m always looking for bigger audiences and bigger stages.”

That original programming lineup includes productions like Freezing Hot, which was filmed in Denver late last year. Netflix isn’t content to only be the home for a lot of old reruns and a few original titles that garner heady waves of buzz, like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. Over the last year, the service has worked to fashion itself into a storehouse for a wider variety of originals that keep users tied to the service, with a collection that includes everything from genre-specific original TV series like Marco Polo to documentaries to comedy specials like Shlesinger’s.

In a letter to shareholders released this week, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said as much. He pointed to the service’s pursuit of original content that’s resulted over the last few years in a bevy of Emmy, Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations and wins.

“This year, we are launching 320 hours of original series (new and returning), films, documentaries and stand-up comedy specials — triple the amount of original programming Netflix released in 2014,” he writes.

In the first three months of the year, Nexflix is premiering season three of House of Cards, a new Tina Fey comedy The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Bloodline, a family thriller from the creators of Damages. It’s also continuing to add new content to its offerings all the time. On January 24, Netflix will begin streaming the controversial Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy The Interview.

Shlesinger’s contribution to that pile comes as the comic recently reached a deal to develop her own show with ABC called Forever 31. It’s based on her life as a touring standup comedian, and the plan is for her to write it and star in it.

“I believe in always having a lot of irons in the fire,” Shlesinger said on the eve of her new special’s debut. “Standup is a tough job and a gritty job. I’m always looking for bigger audiences and bigger stages. Really, however I can reach my fans is what will make me happy – well, I’ll actually probably never be happy. I’m going to die unhappy. That’s how artists roll!”

Movies & TV

From ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to ‘Episode IX’: The most anticipated movies of 2019

This year is shaping up to be one of the biggest in a long time for Hollywood fare, with everying from Avengers: Endgame to Star Wars: Episode IX hitting theaters over the next 12 months. To make planning your theater calendar a little…
Computing

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (February 2019)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in January and February, from new original series to classic films.
Movies & TV

NBCUniversal will launch its own streaming service in 2020

NBCU is prepping a streaming service filled with its original content for a debut sometime next year, meaning that Michael, Dwight, and the rest of the Scranton crew might be moving to a new home.
Movies & TV

Apple’s first original feature film reunites Bill Murray, Sofia Coppola

The Lost in Translation team of Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray will reunite with their A Very Murray Christmas collaborator Rashida Jones for On the Rocks, Apple and studio A24's first official feature together.
Movies & TV

You can get a screaming deal on LG OLED TVs just in time for the Super Bowl

LG is offering steep discounts on its critically acclaimed OLED TV models just in time for the Super Bowl, letting discerning viewers watch their favorite athletes with higher picture quality than ever.
Movies & TV

Jason Reitman’s ‘Ghostbusters’ sequel already has a creepy teaser trailer

Jason Reitman, son of Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman, has secretly co-written a follow-up to the 1984 supernatural comedy. Filming begins this summer, but it's not clear if the original Ghostbusters will reprise their roles.
Movies & TV

From premiere date to footage: Here's all we have on 'Game of Thrones' season 8

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Movies & TV

Netflix recruits Steve Carell for the Trump-inspired comedy ‘Space Force’

Steve Carell, Netflix, and The Office showrunner Greg Daniels are teaming up for Space Force, a workplace comedy poking fun at the Trump White House's plans to establish a sixth branch of the U.S. military.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Movies & TV

New trailer for 'The Punisher' season 2 teases a bloody showdown

The Punisher is getting a second season on Netflix, with Jon Bernthal returning to play Marvel Comics' gun-toting antihero Frank Castle. Here's everything we know about season 2 of The Punisher so far.
Movies & TV

The ‘John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum’ trailer has finally arrived

Lionsgate has released the first, full-length trailer for John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum, the third installment of the action franchise that casts Keanu Reeves as the world's greatest assassin.
Movies & TV

Here's everything we know about 'John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum'

John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum, the third installment of the wildly successful action series that stars Keanu Reeves as a deadly assassin forced out of retirement, hits theaters in May 2019. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Gaming

For Netflix, ‘Fortnite’ on YouTube is a bigger threat than HBO

In a letter to shareholders, Netflix explained that it views the video game Fortnite as bigger competition than HBO, with YouTube videos of the game drawing viewers away from the streaming platform.