February 22, 1983
New York, New York, United States
Iliza Shlesinger was an American comedian who in 2008 became the first woman, and youngest person ever, to win NBC's "Last Comic Standing" (NBC, 2003-2014). Born in New York City and raised in Dallas, Texas, Shlesinger's interest in performing began when she was a very young girl. She found that she had an ease and comfort in making people laugh - and many times without even trying. By her mid-teens she started taking comedy serious by joining the famed Dallas improv troupe ComedySportz. Schlesinger quickly became the troupe's standout performer, but felt a bit confined by the limitations of the Dallas comedy scene. That said, when it came time to enroll in college she decided on Emerson for the simple reason that Boston had a thriving comedy scene. Shlesinger studied film at Emerson, but it was the school's local improv troupe called Jimmy's Traveling All Stars that really drew her in. Once again, the young improviser became a standout in the troupe, thus learning to write and perform comedy for the stage. After graduating from Emerson, Shlesinger moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in standup. Within a few years of her arrival, Shlesinger had won MySpace's 2007 "So You Think You're Funny" contest, and also became the first woman ever to win NBC's "Last Comic Standing" in 2008. Before long she was performing her act on TV shows, while traveling the country as one of the comedy world's most in-demand standups. In 2011 Shlesinger began hosting the syndicated dating show "Excused" (Syndicated, 2011-2013), but the show ended its run after a couple of seasons. 2013 was also the year her first standup special "War Paint" premiered on Netflix. Shlesinger had another comedy special premiere on Netflix in 2015 called "Freezing Hot." In March of 2016 Shlesinger returned to television when she began hosting the game show "Separation Anxiety" (TBS, 2016- ). The show, which premiered on TBS in March of 2016, was Shlesinger's first hosting gig since "Excused" ended its run two years prior.