Actress, comedian and professional poop joke generator Jenny Slate is what you'd call a rising star. Her new film, Obvious Child, has been praised as a refreshingly modern romantic comedy that de-stigmatises the gross realities of life. In it, her character, Donna Stern, navigates a break up, a flailing career, an unplanned pregnancy, and, ultimately, an abortion. The film reflects women in a post-Girls world – it takes on politically fraught issues like sex and abortion and normalises them for an audience that has been waiting for someone to do so. Slate, 32, embodies this mission effortlessly in real life, too – in her stand-up, on Twitter and with her friends – by just being herself. There are more reasons to love Jenny Slate than we can possibly list, but here are a few.
1. Her parents
Jenny Slate comes from a family of funny voices: hers is childlike, her mother's is deep, and her father's is high and delicate. Here, on Jimmy Kimmel, she paints a picture of the kind of family from which a comedian is born.
3. She gets real about bodies
In Obvious Child, Jenny Slate's character Donna is frank about her ladyparts; her first stand up act begins with, "I used to hide what my vagina does to my underpants."
Offscreen, Slate is no different. "I didn't hit puberty until I was, like, 17, so I love to talk about that," she told Paper Mag. "Before you hit puberty, you have this growing, really urgent sense of horniness." Her leading line in a phone call interview between three friends was, "Okay, so this is the conversation where we talk about what’s wrong with our butts? Fine, I’ll go first: lots of different little cuts all over it." Here, Slate gabs with Pete Holmes about the different timbres of her farts.
4. She and her husband make movies ... for fun
In the Slate-Fleischer-Camp household, Slate says funny things and her husband, Dean Fleischer-Camp, makes them into videos. Among them is the world-famous Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, in which Slate personifies a tiny shell living his emotionally complex life in a human-sized world. Marcel now has over 22m views, a sequel and a picture book. Another short is Self Esteem, where Slate, Fleischer-Camp and comedian Gabe Liedman judgementally review the everyday life of an unknowing woman (also played by Slate).
"It's probably not because she wants to wear leggings," says Voiceover Slate, as Onscreen Slate cries with no shirt on, "but she thinks she's a little fat."