by Steven Sanchez
Loni Love, the multi-talented comedian, actress, author, and co-host of the daytime talk show The Real, brought her comedy to the Visalia Fox Theatre on Saturday, May 18, and the audience showered her with nothing but love throughout the performance. The recently-announced ambassador for WW (formerly Weight Watchers) riffed on everything, ranging from behind-the-scenes stories of The Real, drunken memories with fellow comedian Chelsea Handler, and her opinions on relationships. Everything was unfiltered throughout her show.
It’s crazy to think that she was an engineer before she became a professional funny woman. You would think that a person that hilarious would have been doing it forever, or that it was their lifelong ambition, but Loni spent years working for General Motors and Xerox before pursuing stand-up full time. Her star has risen these past years. Going from appearing in the film Soul Plane, to being a round table panelist for her friend, Chelsea Handler, on her show Chelsea Lately, and then being a part of the Daytime Emmy Award-winning television show, The Real, for the past six years.
She’s established herself as an observational comic, ranting on topics from relationships, current events, and American politics. Public figures serving in office weren’t free from Loni’s comedic jabbing. But with all those successes, is there anything she hasn’t done yet that she would like to do?
“I’m working on a lot of projects (a sitcom and some other shows), but as of right now I’m helping up-and-coming comics who are in the trenches to make their dreams come true, because the world needs more comedy,” she says.
When she started out back in 2004, there weren’t many comedians who looked like her. Yes, there’s been an effort lately for more diverse representation in the entertainment industry, but if you look in certain fields, especially in comedy, the percentage of diverse performers is relatively low. The ones who achieve mainstream success is even lower. So how does a performer of color rise up to stardom during these times?
“You have to take every opportunity that is given to you; nothing is too small, things like open mics, and you’ll be okay,” says Loni.
Politically speaking, these are crazy times, especially when it comes to world events. What role does comedy serve when there’s not too many things lately that can make us laugh?
“Comedy is needed now more than ever. It’s all about timing and how you say things. And people will realize that the truly great comics know how to make anything funny,” Loni says.