chicago party aunt

‘Chicago Party Aunt' Creators Reveal Story Behind How They Chose the Voice of Diane

NBC Universal, Inc.

"Chicago Party Aunt" has made its Netflix debut and for many native Chicagoans, her voice will sound familiar.

But the actress behind the famed party aunt isn't actually from Chicago. In fact, she's Canadian.

Lauren Ash is no stranger to the Windy City, however, and it was during her time in the city's comedy scene that she met some of the creators and stars of Chicago Party Aunt.

"We've all known Lauren forever," Jon Barinholz told NBC's Chicago Today. "When I was, like, mopping the floors at Second City Lauren was on the stage as one of the stars and she had two sketches there where it was like, she's playing a Chicago character in it and we all knew, like, 'Oh, Lauren can kill a Chicago accent.' And it's actually not too dissimilar from a Canadian accent."

Ash, who appears on "Superstore" with Barinholz, said her ability to perfect the Chicago accent for her character Diane Dunbrowski came out of "survival." It's a storyline that follows the bio of Chicago Party Aunt's own motto: "If life gives you lemons, turn that [expletive] into Mike's Hard Lemonade."

"I was on the main stage at Second City there for two years and so almost out of survival I started to pick up Chicago-isms," she said. "So when it came time to become Diane, it became second nature. I was like, 'Oh I remember this.'"

The adult animated series on Netflix is based entirely off of a popular and provocative Twitter account, according to creator and Illinoisan Chis Witaske, who is a long-time veteran of Chicago comedy.

"Saturday Night Live" writer Katie Rich and brothers Jon and Ike Barinholtz, both of whom have strong ties to the Chicago comedy scene, are also involved in the production.

"Chicago Party Aunt" announced the show on social media over the summer with a tweet that read "Holy [expletive]! Netflix just bought the rights to my life! Anybody have a password I can borrow?"

Over the years the "Chicago Party Aunt" Twitter account has acquired more than 58,000 followers, where she provides her take on Chicago events and area news -- and sports.

While Chicago Party Aunt isn't afraid to wade into controversy, there's one storyline the creators said they hope to the toe the line with: her baseball allegiances.

In the show, Chicago Party Aunt is a Cubs fan, but that's not the whole story, according to Jon and Ike Barinholz.

"We understand this is a delicate situation and we think Diane is a lot like us, being true Chicagoans," Ike Barinholz told Chicago Today. "We also, like, we're happy when the White Sox did well, like our dad favors the White Sox so we would go to White Sox games. When the White Sox won the World Series it was one of the greatest days ever. So we think Diane can exist in both spaces and then that way we don't make anyone made."

True to that message, the beloved Twitter account even rooted for the White Sox during their latest playoff run.

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