“Comedy Comes From My Nature, Not My Gender!”: 15 Things We Learned from Jenny Slate’s Reddit AMA


Our favorite googly-eyed seashell, Jenny Slate, treated her vast sea of fans to a Reddit AMA today. She was online to promote her new abortion-themed romantic comedy, Obvious Child, which Gillian Robespierre wrote for her. For the most part, Slate kept her answers light — joking about her stint on Drunk History, talking about Marcel the Shell, and answering questions about SNL and the body odors of various co-stars. But there were a couple moments where the comedian got serious, acting a bit defensive when asked about making abortion jokes, and giving a brief but excellent response to a question about “women in comedy.” Read on for the 15 things we learned about the delightful actress, writer, and popsicle offspring (yeah, just keep reading).

1. She had some, er, delicious beginnings.

“How come you’re so cute?” asked a fan who couldn’t be bothered to think of a more creative question.

“Hmhmhmhm. Oh man, I can’t answer that, I have no idea! My dad is a popsicle and my mom is an ice cream cone,” Slate answered.

2. What advice would she give to her 16-year-old self?

“I would tell her that boobs are on the way and that she should probably NOT lose her virginity two days before 9/11 because that was very intense?”

3. It’s “backwards” to call this “the time for women in comedy.”

you know, SNL was a challenge for me, mostly because of how I treated myself. Everyone was very kind to me, but if there was one thing I would change, I would ask people to stop saying that “now is the time for women in comedy” because it’s rude to all of the women who came before us, patronizing to those of us doing it, and backwards in general. Comedy comes from my nature, not my gender!

4. Marcel the Shell was born of hotel discomfort.

I was doing the voice while stuck in a tiny hotel room (i felt very small), and my husband noticed and thought we should do something with it!

5. When she’s a little too stoned, her remedy is to “drink a lot of water and brush my teeth for a really long time. And take a long walk!”

6. In the future, she might like to do a period piece.

“Or what if I played a spy?”

7. Don’t accuse Obvious Child of making disrespectful jokes “about abortion.”

We don’t feel that we made jokes “about abortion” or that the film makes fun of abortion in any way. Just because abortion is the topic of a very serious discussion in our country doesn’t mean that we have to treat it with kid gloves. Every joke was purposely delivered and placed and the story is the story of a funny woman in a complicated situation. If we put a toe over the line now and then, that’s ok. Just because there is laughter does not mean that there is disrespect! The voice of the film is clear and the movie is thoughtful.

8. She seems to really love Jennifer Lopez:

When asked if she was Jenny from the Block: “I’m not but I once used the same bathroom as Jennifer Lopez. And she was really nice to me.”

When asked to pick a favorite sketch from her SNL days: “No, you pick! Just kidding. I loved doing the car horns sketch w J-lo.”

9. Her last meal, if on death row, would include a magic potion to grant her immortality so she could get revenge on her accuser.

Buffalo Chicken Fingers and Curly Fries with a side of Ranch and also Ketchup and Pickles. Matzah Ball Soup. A Shirley Temple with extra cherries. Some sort of potion to turn me into a goddess instead of killing me because I would obvs be wrongly accused and would need to get revenge asap.

10. Her new FX show, Married, is about “the funny and weird and dark stuff that can happen to all of us”:

My new FX show is called “Married” and it’s about the funny and weird dark stuff that can happen to all of us. My character is married to “Shep”, played by Paul Reiser. She’s very fun, really needs to be seen as sexual, anticipates people to judge her before they actually do. Tries to be tough but is sensitive and impatient. All of the actors on this show blew me away, they’re so talented and such nice humans.

11. On whether she’ll make more “Bestie X Bestie” videos:

“yes yes yes yes yes just not sure when but yes!”

12. She likes podcasts, just not comedy podcasts.

i don’t know why, but i don’t listen to comedy podcasts. maybe it’s just too much? i listen to This American Life and RadioLab podcasts though and I love them.

13. Her Kroll Show character My Niece Denise was her own invention.

My niece Denise is based off a character I did in a one-woman show. The executive producer John Levenstein of the Kroll Show saw me do the character and we found a way to fit it into the show.

14. And if you see her in her Liz costume from Kroll Show… plug your nose.

My shoes for “Liz” are a bummer though. A big bummer, and the costumes for that character are heavily polyester and they REALLY hold onto your B.O., FYI.

15. Finally: how many times did she throw up after Drunk History?

Oh, just 3.