ARTICLE SARAH CRISTOBAL

CREDITS ARTICLE CONTENTS

MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT, IN DOLCE & GABBANA

TINASHE

JENNY SLATE

EXTRA CREDITS

Makeup Kirin Bhatty (Starworks Artists)  Hair Dennis Gots (Jed Root Inc.)  Manicure Whitney Gibson using Chanel Photo assistants Alex Gay, Brad Liber, Chris Moore  Stylist assistant Catlin Myers Equipment rental Quixote  Retouching Velem  Location Mack Sennett Studios, Los Angeles  Catering Food+Lab

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DYLAN PENN NICK KNIGHT\'S ISABELLA BLOW THE NEW ROMANTIC PATTI + ROBERT

JENNY SLATE

TEXT SARAH CRISTOBAL

WITH AN INGENIOUS NEW FILM THAT WON RAVES AT SUNDANCE, UNDERGROUND COMEDY STAR JENNY SLATE TRADES IN HER GUEST SPOTS AND IMPROV GIGS FOR A SHOT AT THE BIG TIME

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Gilda Radner had The Second City. Amy Poehler, the Upright Citizen’s Brigade. Jenny Slate, meanwhile, ruled Rififi. It was there, after attending Columbia University,  that the Massachusetts native found an outlet for her sincere and hilariously crude brand of humor. With little training save for a few suspect $300 acting classes (“It’s pretty important to keep in mind when those teachers are telling you to change that a lot of them don’t actually have acting jobs”), she was soon drawing a crowd to the now-defunct East Village dive for a two-person show featuring her and best friend Gabe Liedman. That moment in time proved to be one of those divine comedy interventions, for among her clique were Aziz Ansari, Mike Birbiglia, and Nick Kroll. “It was really special,” says Slate. “I didn’t know anything about stand-up, so I didn’t know that what we were doing was alternative. We just got up on stage and starting talking about each other. The response was great.”  

Aside from finding her comedic footing, the Rififi routines also landed Slate a manager, one who would go on to book her for a recurring role on HBO cult hit Bored to Death (where Jason Schwartzman hooked her up with his agent) and a short-lived stint as a cast member on Saturday Night Live. She was fired, famously, for dropping an on-air F-bomb, but it wasn’t long before she was back on her feet. (“It was kind of like a birthing process for me,” she says of the experience. “I’m really glad that I was there, and I’m really more glad that I was only there for a year.”) Lena Dunham heard what happened and wrote her into an episode of Girls, and Kroll immediately asked her to costar in the pilot for the Kroll Show, which has since blossomed into a Comedy Central sensation. Anyone who hasn’t seen their faux-reality sketch PubLIZity, about two hapless publicists named Liz, is seriouslizly missing out.  

In June, theatergoers got to experience Slate in top form, as the lead in Gillian Robespierre’s indie comedy Obvious Child. (The writer-director wrote the lead for Slate after witnessing her act at Rififi.) Adapted from a 2009 short, the film, which came to fruition with the help of a Kickstarter campaign, follows Slate as Donna Stern, a sweet Brooklyn-based comic whose post-breakup drunken exploits result in a trip to the abortion clinic on Valentine’s Day. Sounds hilarious, right? Trust us, it is. The material is deftly handled by Slate and her costars, Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffmann, and of course her BFF, Gabe. “It’s important to say that this is not an agenda movie in any way. But it is a movie that tells a story that just hasn’t been told,” says Slate of Obvious Child, which was made in just 18 days. “Sometimes I’ll think about that, especially when two weeks go by and I’m like, Jesus Christ, I’ve just begun cleaning my sock drawer! We got so much done.” 

OBVIOUS CHILD IS IN THEATERS NOW

EXTRA CREDITS

Makeup Kirin Bhatty (Starworks Artists)  Hair Dennis Gots (Jed Root Inc.)  Manicure Whitney Gibson using Chanel Photo assistants Alex Gay, Brad Liber, Chris Moore  Stylist assistant Catlin Myers Equipment rental Quixote  Retouching Velem  Location Mack Sennett Studios, Los Angeles  Catering Food+Lab

MORE TO LOVE

DYLAN PENN NICK KNIGHT\'S ISABELLA BLOW THE NEW ROMANTIC PATTI + ROBERT
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