Shlesinger welcomes back Lakers with laughs

Iliza Shlesinger brought out the laughs at her show on Sunday night in the Fieldhouse Arena.

Iliza Shlesinger brought out the laughs at her show on Sunday night in the Fieldhouse Arena.

Coty Levandoski

The quiet roar heard in Allendale this past weekend was not a result of welcome week parties, Club GV or FanFest 2010 but of Iliza Shlesinger’s performance at the Fieldhouse Arena.

Shlesinger, a current resident of L.A., but born and raised in Dallas, Texas, is just one of a handful of comedians Spotlight Productions has booked to visit Grand Valley State University for the upcoming year. Kiera Soltanovich, Roy Wood Jr. and Kyle Grooms are all slated to perform for the 2010-11 academic year.

“Iliza Shlesinger is an exceptional comedian, having been the first female comedian to win Last Comic Standing,” said Alyson Greenwell, the comedy committee chair for Spotlight Productions. “She is absolutely hilarious and a very talented entertainer, we’re incredibly lucky to have her come perform at Grand Valley.”

Since winning Last Comic Standing, Shlesinger has made appearances on Comedy Central’s “Live At Gotham”, E! Network’s “Chelsea Lately” and “The Soup”, as well as having her own half hour special on “Comedy Central Presents.” Currently, she hosts The Weakly News with Iliza and Alexis on TheStreamTV.

Having participated in improv troupes during high school and through her college years, Shlesinger moved to L.A. after majoring in film at Emerson College in Boston, a discipline she shares with opener and two-time winner of Last Laker Standing, Greg Kort.

“I love doing stand-up and making people laugh, but my true passion is in filmmaking,” Kort said. “I actually didn’t do any stand up throughout the summer because I was working on movies. If I was offered some kind of job or deal I would definitely consider it, but otherwise, it’s just for fun.”

Shlesinger is just one in a long line of comedians who have performed at GVSU since it’s beginnings, with Sinbad, Daniel Tosh, Dane Cook and Louis C.K. all having delivered sets in years past. Spotlight books its guest performers through the National Association for Campus Activities, or

“Grand Valley students have shown a great interest in stand up comedy,” Greenwell said. “Last year, just about all the comedy shows were at capacity. Spotlight helps out by providing shows with free or inexpensive admission for students.”

The cost of admission for the show was $1 at the door, or a donation of school supplies toward Grand Rapids Public School.

For more information on Spotlight Productions, join the Facebook group ot visit Fans of Shlesinger can follow her on Myspace at or on Twitter @iliza.

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