Alum Alex Borstein: A Woman of Many Voices

Monday, November 17, 2014
POCONO RECORD -- In college at San Francisco State, Borstein, who studied rhetoric, continued doing stand-up and joined a sketch group called The Virus. The troupe wrote original scenes that tackled social issues and university politics. It was basically Borstein’s first taste of sketch writing. After college, Borstein continued performing at Los Angeles’ ACME Comedy Theatre. Throughout years of shows, she crafted original characters and learned to make each role memorable, no matter how seemingly insignificant. Her most famous part, Ms. Swan, was a woman whose amorphous ethnicity harkened back to Andy Kaufman’s Foreign Man. Borstein had no way of knowing the plaid-apron-clad character would hit the cultural zeitgeist in the way it did, but she had an inkling Swan would be popular. While still on “MADtv,” Borstein agreed to voice the character of Lois Griffin, a highly sexualized housewife, for a new show called “Family Guy” by Seth McFarlane, a then-unknown animator.