It might seem like the TV landscape already has enough late-night talk shows, but Iliza Shlesinger begs to differ.
The standup comedian and Dallas native says there is room for exactly one more.
Once “Truth & Iliza” premieres at 9 p.m. Tuesday on Freeform, then we we’ll officially reach the saturation point.
“I’m the one that’s the tipping point,” she jokes. “Made it just in time!”
Shlesinger, riding high ever since she won NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” in 2008, has dreamed of hosting her own late-night show for years. Now that it’s a reality, she’s going to give it everything she’s got.
She describes “Truth & Iliza,” which is getting a six-week test run, as being “a space between social commentary, politics, pop culture and my specific brand of comedy and feminism.”
How’s that for thinking big?
“We have six episodes to grab everyone’s attention and leave a mark,” says Shlesinger, who’s also an executive producer. “This is our chance. So we’re trying everything we can. It’s all hands on deck.”
As far as this funny lady is concerned, it doesn’t get much better than hosting her own show.
“It’s about connecting with people on a bigger and better stage than standup,” she says. “You can take a multifaceted approach. You get to utilize sketch comedy.
“You can do interviews. You can bring in other ideas, incorporate other people and other perspectives, all while still honoring your own point of view.
“Also, for a standup comedian, doing your own standup basically as a half-hour show is the ultimate ego boost.”
Shlesinger has a lot of experience interviewing people. She hosted a podcast for two years. It also was called “Truth & Iliza.”
One thing she can promise about the new show is that, even though she’ll have a point of view, it won’t be politically polarizing.
“In no way do I want to be another Samantha Bee or Rachel Maddow,” she says. “These are brilliant women who love politics. But my objective is different.
“I think you can say things that are important while wrapping them in comedy and not making them political. Because, let’s face it, even with the best of intentions, a lot of us sort of tune out. We don’t all have poli-sci degrees. We’re not always as informed as we want to be.
“I want the show to be thought-provoking, but I also want to entertain people. I have a point of view, but I’m not trying to sway a vote or change someone’s political agenda.”
Each episode will have a theme. The first show is supposed to address political correctness. “What can you say and what can’t you say these days?”
Each episode also will have goofy sketches, like the one in which Shlesinger serenades us with a selection of tone-deaf “greatest hits” songs about her beloved rescue dog, Blanche.
Shlesinger is an entertainer who is constantly working, constantly creating.
She recently completed a 15-city theater tour. Her scripted web series, “Forever 31,” has been picked up for a second season on ABC app. And her first book, “Girl Logic: Understanding That You Make Sense When You Make No Sense at All,” comes out in November.
The theater tour included a stop in Dallas that Shlesinger will never forget.
“I played the Majestic Theatre, which was very special, because when I was 17 my father took me there to see Ellen DeGeneres,” she remembers. “So it was very cool when I got to headline there at 34.”
Karey Burke, Freeform’s executive vice president of programming, says Shlesinger’s appeal, especially among women, comes from “fearless yet brilliantly funny social commentary and wit.”
“I hope people who watch come away entertained and laughing and thinking,” Shlesinger says. “That’s all I ever want.”
Truth & Iliza
- 9 p.m. Tuesday