In an article about Hot Forever, an illustration of Iliza Schlesinger
Illustration by Olivia Bermingham, Massachusetts College of Art and Design

In ‘Hot Forever,’ Iliza Shlesinger Is the Voice of Reason We All Need

The comedienne continues to illuminate serious topics with compassion and laughter.

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In an article about Hot Forever, an illustration of Iliza Schlesinger
Illustration by Olivia Bermingham, Massachusetts College of Art and Design

The comedienne continues to illuminate serious topics with compassion and laughter.

Iliza Shlesinger recently released her sixth comedy special, “Hot Forever,” on Netflix. Representing herself as the “Elder Millennial,” she continues to speak to the younger members of her generation. As her specials have been released, fans have watched her grow alongside them and have journeyed with her as she navigates the wilds of existence. “Hot Forever” is no exception, as she gets deeply personal and proves that no subject is off limits.

Shlesinger got her start in Los Angeles after graduating college. She quickly gained loyal fans as she rose to stardom, winning multiple awards and racking up writing credits on various comedy shows. In 2008, she received her biggest career boost after winning NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” as the first female and youngest winner of the show. After more comedy tours and writing positions, Shlesinger released her first Netflix comedy show, “War Paint,” in 2013, followed by “Freezing Hot” in 2015. In the specials, Shlesinger’s reputation as a millennial spokesperson emerged as she poked fun at millennial women and explained the behaviors of her generation through light-hearted and relatable jokes.

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In 2016, fans saw her first shift in humor in “Confirmed Kills.” In the special, she continued to point out silly behaviors but this time focused more on defending her fellow millennial ladies. “Confirmed Kills” saw the creation of the famous party goblin, a typical woman’s alter-ego that gives her terrible ideas, allowing her to excuse any mistakes she made the night before. Her next special, “Elder Millennial,” showed even more personal growth as she officially embraced her role as the wise sage of the rest of the millennials.

Her fifth special, “Unveiled,” saw her finally settling down in marriage. With “Hot Forever,” fans can watch as Shlesinger navigates through motherhood after the birth of her daughter, Sierra, in January 2022. Watching her morph from party goblin to mother has kept Shlesinger relatable as she offers complete access to even the most embarrassing or taboo topics. “Hot Forever” sees Shlesinger get more political by recognizing the privilege she has with her platform and her duty to broach topics that women might find themselves struggling with. She openly announces being pro-choice and pro-science and uses her own experiences with miscarriage and motherhood to shed light on the difficulties of being a woman, especially with current U.S. legislation.

While she explores topics that most women can relate to, she also announces that she equally supports men and wants them to succeed. “Hot Forever” is chock-full of tips and encouragement for men in the dating world and acknowledges the difficult, confusing issues they also face. She gives a woman’s perspective on the pitfalls that men often inadvertently fall into and delivers advice on how to avoid them. Women watching can nod along as she eloquently explains the female experience.

Shlesinger also covers her recent TikTok obsession, including her thoughts on the app’s dances, recipes, Taiwanese nail art and even awkward videos in which families share far too much information. Early in the special, she covers the un-sexiness of TikTok dances and how silly they would look in person. Millennial women watching along will find most of her jokes about common experiences incredibly relatable, especially those describing the countless hours spent scrolling through the app.

So, why is Shlesinger the voice of reason we all need? Peppered in between the relatable and seemingly superficial topics, she gives voice to specific experiences that are rarely discussed between men and women. At one point in “Hot Forever,” Shlesinger spends a considerable amount of time articulating the endless struggles of wearing a bra to both those who do and those who don’t. She also describes her experiences with miscarriage, pregnancy and navigating life with a family.

Shlesinger built her brand on talking about embarrassing subjects that older generations never would have discussed. Being the generation willing to break away from tradition has been the defining characteristic of millennials, which Shlesinger fluently explains in entertaining narratives that have hooked fans around the globe. Schlesinger’s comedic approach makes taboo content more digestible and also empowers couples to voice their emotions and work through their problems together. By acknowledging the differences between men and women, Shlesinger makes it easier to approach heavily stigmatized issues with empathy and compassion.

If you can’t get enough of Shlesinger, she recently released a new book called “All Things Aside,” which follows her debut work, “Girl Logic.” All her comedy specials can be found on Netflix, and she even wrote and starred in the 2021 film “Good on Paper.” Most recently, the comedian appeared on Celebrity Jeopardy where she sparked the ire of hardcore Jeopardy fans with her jokes but still managed to win over $14,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “Hot Forever” is another example of how Shlesinger uses her wit and humor while keeping her finger on the pulse of millennial experiences.

Writer Profile

Megan Miller

Arizona State University
English/History

Megan has lived her whole life in Southern California where she enjoys all the local attractions, especially the beaches. She enjoys reading, writing and cooking. She is obsessed with her dog, Moose.

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