Borstein (B.A., '92) tells the story, one risqué
song brought an end to her comedy performances on campus during the
early 1990s. "Someone complained to the administration," she
recalls during a telephone interview. "The song really wasn't that
In a failed attempt to prove her point, Borstein proceeds to sing the
song in question. Thankfully, she is not on speakerphone.
Borstein's student comedy troupe may have lost their regular gigs at
Mary Ward Hall, but it didn't hurt her career. She went on to do stand-up
across the country and to act on the silver screen, most recently in
"Catwoman" in a supporting role to Halle Berry.
At SFSU, Borstein earned her degree in speech and communication in just
three years, then headed to Los Angeles. After a successful audition
for "MADtv," she spent five seasons as a regular cast member
on the sketch comedy show.
The self-deprecating comedian, who jokes that she's "five-feet
tall and five-feet wide," believes that she can be a role model
to young females simply by maintaining a visible presence in the entertainment
"It's okay to be different and you can't be as different as me
and Halle Berry," she says.
Borstein has been carrying that message to audiences across the country
in her comedy show, "Alex Borstein: Drop Dead Gorgeous in a Down-to-Earth
Bombshell Sort of Way." Soon to be released on DVD, the one-woman
show focuses on her search for more realistic female role models in
movies and on TV.
Borstein has also been in the recording studio preparing for the upcoming
season of "Family Guy." The off-beat animated series will
be back on FOX in June. Borstein is co-producer and the voice of Lois
Griffin, mother to Stewie (the baby intent on world domination). She
can also be spotted from time to time in a recurring role as the bitter
harpist named Drella on the WB's "Gilmore Girls."
Fans still approach Borstein with requests for a few words from her
best-known character from her "MADtv" days -- the unintelligible,
yet strangely endearing Ms. Swan, a woman remembered best for the catch
phrase, "He look like a man." Borstein hopes to begin shooting
a film based on the character this summer.
The comedian has come a long way from her first live performance which
she traces back to childhood. The gig? A living room stand-up act for
relatives at Passover.
"It was my first big break and I think that's true for a lot of
Jewish performers," she says. "Passover can be your first
drunk crowd, and probably the warmest and most receptive one you'll