Iliza Shlesinger & Sarah Colonna November 14, Venetian’s Sands Showroom
Both comediennes were billed as headliners, and in all fairness, both deserve to be national headliners. But strong as Sarah Colonna’s leadoff set might have been Saturday night at the Venetian, Iliza Shlesinger took the stage next and absolutely crushed the room.
Too many times recently, I’ve witnessed female comics trying to be Amy Schumer lite, but these two delivered their points of view with such clarity and focus, by the end of each night, the audience knew what both were all about. Colonna, known mostly for frequent panel appearances on Chelsea Lately, reflects her Arkansas roots in her laid-back demeanor and slow-turn storytelling. She paced herself, drew things out and punctuated with quality punchlines. Of her sloppy drunk friend, “She gets so drunk because she just ... hates herself, but when I’m with her I get really drunk, too, because ... I don’t care for her either.”
Shlesinger, a former winner on Last Comic Standing, is a ball of lightning, constantly moving, pounding the next sentence, taking no breaks. She riffed on getting wasted—which is when, she explained, your party goblin comes out: “You need to rage. Find a door guy. Ask him if he has drugs. Do not specify what kind. See what he comes up with. Jump on top of that table. Start dancing. There is no music. I will provide the music. La la la la la la la la la. Jump off that table. Whoops, he saw your vagina. Very Britney. Push that security guard. See if he finds it charming this time. Run across the street to a 7-11. Do a whippit. You might die. It’s f*cking worth it. Take out your phone. Text your ex-boyfriend that you love him, then turn your phone off!”
But where Colonna forced certain points, like insisting the third question when signing up for dating website OK Cupid is whether or not you keep the back door open, Shlesinger’s heightening only made her repertoire stronger. Of the ridiculous names white people call their grandparents, “Grim Gram. Plip Plop. Yam Yam. ‘I’m Pip Pop.’ ‘So cute. Isn’t he so cute? Sometimes at Christmas when Pip Pop falls asleep we like to decorate him with Christmas bows.’ Pip Pop has 53 confirmed kills, you f*cking brat!”
Overall, it ranked as the best Lipshtick series show I’ve seen, the combined effort of two very strong performers. One just happens to be in the zone right now.