the arts

Fun Fun Fun Fest Comedy

Multitasking Jenny Slate returns to her stand-up roots at Fun Fun Fun Fest

By Melanie Haupt, Fri., Nov. 8, 2013

Fun Fun Fun Fest Comedy

Jenny Slate

Sat., 3:35pm, Yellow stage

Jenny Slate's career has been marked by both failure and success on an epic scale. Not only is she the co-creator and voice of the anthropomorphic "Marcel the Shell With Shoes On," whose material and existential challenges achieved viral-video status in 2011, she's also the performer who accidentally let fly an f-bomb on her 2009 Saturday Night Live debut. (She left the show after one season.)

At Fun Fun Fun, Slate, whose more recent roles include mean girl Amelia on HBO's Hello Ladies and the odious Mona Lisa Saperstein on NBC's Parks and Recreation, will take it down a notch. "By myself," she says, "I tell a lot of stories about my family and childhood in order to figure out what is going on in my adulthood."

Unlike comedians who worked their way through the comedy club circuit telling the same old "women, amirite?" jokes, Slate immersed herself in an alternative comedy environment that embraced quirky challenges to the status quo.

Relying heavily on conversation and storytelling, Slate spent five years "performing for like seven people for free in shitty Brooklyn clubs that smelled like farts," ultimately honing a comfortable, homey yet off-kilter comedic style that relishes the human experience.

Where her work with comedy partner Gabe Liedman finds Slate mining the intimacy of friendship for laughs, she keeps the scope similarly small when performing on her own, making it personal and gimmick-free. "There may be some secret-telling, though," Slate laughs. "We'll see when we get under that tent!" F-bombs, we assume, are still on the menu.

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