by Elyssa Kaufman, CBS 2 digital news producer
CHICAGO (CBS)– Comedian Jenny Slate is bringing her book tour to Chicago’s Vic Theatre on Friday.
She’s promoting her new book of essays, Little Weirds, which is already listed as a No. 1 seller on Amazon.
Slate is continuously moving through new realms of comedy whether it’s starring in her own movie, “Obvious Child,” playing reoccurring roles on “Parks and Rec” and “Saturday Night Live,” or voicing animated characters on shows like “Bob’s Burgers” and “Big Mouth.”
Slate’s new book, Little Weirds is an emotional and intimate look inside her life. She said the writing process was an experience she took really personally, almost like opening up a diary.
“It felt really private,” she told CBS 2. “I was using what seemed the realest to me to create something new and that was really special for me. It was a great privilege to be able to write this book and keep it in the form that I wanted.”
What can viewers expect from the book? Slate said, “a wild ride.”
In addition to her book and book tour, Slate somehow found the time to take her stand-up comedy to the next level.
“Stage Fright” is Slate’s first comedy special. The show was filmed live, but Slate made sure to add an element of comfort.
True to the title, Slate said she does have stage fright and “that is just the truth.”
“I filmed in a theater that was much like the theaters that I prefer to perform in,” she said. “I think the performance you see represents what it is like to see my life on any given day.”
Throughout her stand-up special, Slate includes interviews with her family and clips inside her childhood home. From filming inside her closet, to interviews with her grandmothers, the special takes an intimate look inside her life.
She said while filming with her family, she felt really protective of them.
“It’s a vulnerable position to be in, so I was very grateful to them that they agreed to do it,” Slate said.
Lucky for her relatives, Slate produced the special and was in charge of the content.
“It can be pretty startling to realize you said something and that is in someone else’s hands,” she told CBS 2.
Slate does not seem to allow her stage fright to interfere with her multitude of characters she has played throughout many different comedy platforms.
Going from filming television shows, to voicing animated characters, to live stand-up comedy shows, to acting in movies is what Slate says allows her to perform better at various jobs.
“It’s really enjoyable, I just want to do different things all of the time,” she said. “I’m really suited to shift in creative changes.”
Slate reflected on the time she spent in Evanston as a high school student attending the Cherubs program at Northwestern University.
“It was just incredibly impactful and really positive,” she said.
While she does not remember traveling outside of Evanston at that age, she does remember the local Panera Bread.
“I had never been there before,” she said.
Slate did say she “wants that deep dish,” but her time in Chicago will be cut short due to prior commitments.
“So, what I’m planning to do in Chicago is perform for all of the nice people who will join me at The Vic,” she said.