Dallas comic Iliza Shlesinger finds her roots on PBS show
Iliza Shlesinger, a comedian who grew up in the Dallas area, is featured on the most recent episode of the long-running PBS show "Finding Your Roots."
Details: The show explores the ancestry of its guests, sometimes uncovering tragic stories.
- Shlesinger learned her paternal great-grandmother Esther Szonek immigrated from Poland to New York in 1921 when she was 22.
- Esther's brother died at Auschwitz, and another brother, Abraham Szonek, survived the Holocaust and immigrated to New York in 1955.
What they're saying: "When you look at pictures from history of atrocities committed against your people in particular, there's always that pull, but I never thought I had any actual connection because I didn't know any of the history," Shlesinger says.
The intrigue: Shlesinger also learned she is a "DNA cousin" — sharing identical segments of DNA on four chromosomes — with comedian Sarah Silverman.
Zoom in: Shlesinger credited her comedic success to her upbringing. She was the only girl in the improv troupe at Greenhill School in Addison.
- "Women in comedy wasn't such a sticky topic," she said of her youth.
- "I was never told, 'Women aren't funny.' Boys liked to be around me because I was funny. And my friends. That was my currency."
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