Published Jul 31, 2016Iliza Shlesinger's podcast Truth and Iliza — a conversational program between Shlesinger and other comedians — typically centres itself on pet peeves. Popular British comedian and Good News host Russell Howard joined her for a conversation that meandered from posture and pudding to break-ins, accents and their craft.
Shlesinger was a brilliant host — outwardly casual, but inwardly prepared and clever. She's one of the busiest, hardest working comics in the biz and her ability to confidently facilitate a funny, interesting conversation in front of a live audience certainly reflected that. One also got a sense for her work ethic when she and Howard began talking about likes and dislikes in comedy. Shlesinger doesn't simply dislike lazy comedy, it makes her vividly angry. Howard was a little more lax in this respect — and most others.
One got the impression he was more positive and light-hearted in most senses than Shlesinger. They butted heads, in the most congenial of ways, on whether advice from parents and relatives on their craft should ever be listened to, and whether or not directly involving parents in a bit can be funny.
Over the course of the hour-long conversation, Shlesinger was clandestinely able to convince Howard that he liked England, while admitting that they both come from some countries that — while they have their good points — are pretty fucked up at the moment. They didn't get explicitly political, at least not for longer than two or three seconds before dissolving into plaintive muttering and changing the subject.
It was hard to tell whether or not Russell Howard was using rehearsed bits from his standup from time to time. Shlesinger said she was loathe to set someone up for a bit during a conversation as is the popular custom for comedians on talk shows. Whether he was using stage material or not, Russell Howard is full of gut busting stories.
The discussion's takeaway — according to Shlesinger — was that there are different puddings and everyone's opinion is valid. It should also be noted that upon flipping through a book Howard brought entitled 14000 Things to Be Happy About, both agreed that books about finding happiness are the lowest form of garbage.