June 10, 2021

Women in Comedy: Iliza Shlesinger, Chloe Fineman, and Melissa Villaseñor

Candid conversation and comedic relief brought to you by world-class comedians on Looped
Abby Rodgers
3 min read

In the spirit of Women’s History Month, we are honoring some of the badass women in comedy who have made their voices, and humor, heard on Looped. Iliza Shlesinger, Chloe Fineman, and Melissa Villaseñor took a more intimate approach for their Q&A sessions hosted on Looped to give a behind-the-scenes taste of how they’ve really made it in the world of comedy so far.

Comic Iliza Shlesinger hosted her podcast “Ask Iliza Anything” live on Looped and engaged in real-time with fans as they posed questions in the chatroom to get her distinct, honest perspective. From giving advice on how to deal with personal situations to discussing whether or not she likes beer (answer: she’s not a beer drinker), Iliza kept things candid with her fans for a series of conversations that truly felt like catching up with that one friend who doesn’t put up with bullshit. 

For instance, one fan named Michelle wrote in asking for dating advice about how to proceed with a coworker she’d been crushing on. “The coworker said that she ‘considered dating me because she’s been having bad luck with dudes lately.’ How do I proceed without making shit weird?” Without hesitating, Iliza answered, “You don’t proceed because she said I’ve considered dating you. What kind of a flex is that?”

On a different yet equally intimate note, Saturday Night Live cast members Chloe Fineman and Melissa Villaseñor discussed their comedy careers, personal sources of inspiration, tidbits of advice, and favorite impressions with college students from across the country during a virtual college tour series on Looped.

Chloe Fineman gave the crowd a taste of some of her favorite impressions to date including Meryl Streep, Timothée Chalamet, and Shia Labeouf (emphasizing that the right wig usually helps her get into character, so naturally she owns over 100). According to Fineman, “we write the sketch and then it’ll go to the table read, and a lot of SNL is writing material that the celebrity host will enjoy performing” which means that some characters and sketches are pitched multiple times before they find a home with the right celebrity host for a live episode. 

For instance, Fineman had tried pitching an eccentric European character called Ooli (formerly known as Queef during her time at the Groundlings) to Woody Harrelson, then to Daniel Craig, until she ultimately brought the character to life for an AirBnB sketch during an at-home quarantine episode of SNL.

Melissa Villaseñor opened up about her journey to SNL during her interactive Q&A session where she admitted, “I auditioned first for SNL when I was 21 and I was so bad! I had some solid good impressions, but I really only had a couple years doing comedy. The thing especially with comedy is that you need to grow into your character - I had to grow into Melissa. I didn’t know who I was at all for most of my twenties. Now it’s just coming together in my thirties, now I know what’s me and what isn’t me.”

In addition to showcasing her impressive impressions of Dolly Parton and Owen Wilson, Villaseñor discussed her love for voiceover acting. She explained, “Some days I’ll have a gloomy day, and then I can do a voiceover cartoon, like a wacky bunny or a squirrel, and then immediately it changes my day! That’s what I love about it.” 

Villaseñor will be back on Looped to host the 2021 Independent Spirit Awards live on April 22nd.

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