Being a comedienne is no laughing mater. The entertainment business is competitive, not always lucrative and still very male dominated. Still, after two decades in the industry Sommore is stil in love with rocking the mic. JET talks to the standout comic about her new projects, including the return of BET’s Comic View, and more.
BET just announced that you’re returning to host its staple franchise Comic View. How do you feel about new gig?
It’s exciting. I was the first woman to ever host the show and it’s great to be back. I definitely hope we get to highlight more comediennes this season and different comedic styles. We start taping in Atlanta in the late summer.
We know female comics don’t always get their fair shine, but tell us about comedic styles.
I want people to see the value in differences. You have some comics who make fun of themselves, some are storytellers, some have great one-liners; we don’t all entertain the same way.
Speaking of entertainment, you have a big show coming up on SHowtime, right?
Yes, this is my first time doing an individual special on Showtime; we did the Queens of Comedy there too. The show is called Chandelier Status and Iwas also a producer, so I had to go through the whole thing of trying to shop it.
That’s a unique name. What’s the meaning behind it?
Usually when I write for a special I think of a theme. I chose this one because first of all, I love chandeliers. I have seven in my house. Think about it, they’re the focal point of a room usually. It’s the one thing you rarely change. I started comparing that to my life and thought if you look at how trends move, and how we move in society, and if you try to keep up with all of these things you start to lose a bit of yourself. So I am a chandelier; I am me.
In the past your material has been a little raunchy. Should we expect more of the same?
Usually when I’m working I talk about what I’m experiencing in my life. When I started in stand-up I was 25-years-old and broke and I talked about, “hey, I’m a gold digger”, because at that time in my life I was that. You can’t talk about what you don’t know. I decided that I was going to speak about the things that grown people thought about. I don’t think it’s raunchy, I think it’s adult. In my new act you’ll see that my perspective on sex is different than what it used to be. I don’t talk about being a gold digger anymore— but I can tell you how to get it.
You have a business degree from Morris Brown College. Has that helped your career?
I also minored in Mathematics. I count like Dracula. I’m so hands on in my business. I check and double check. I understand how things work and it’s my job to sell a product.
Your company is called 1000 Kisses, why?
I named it that because I believe in this business you’re going to give out 1000 kisses. You’ll have to kiss people hello; you have to kiss the babies; you have to tell people to kiss your ass. You have to do it all.
You’re one of the more successful Black female comediennes. What’s your ultimate goal?
It’s very challenging because it’s still a male dominated industry and some men don’t think women are funny. They say an all-female line-up can’t be lucrative, which is why I put together the Queens of Comedy tour to prove them wrong. But I set out to be a stand-up. I’ll do acting but this is what I love to do. I’ll tour forever if people will support it. I would love to have a career like Joan Rivers; she’s like a muse of mine.
Check out Sommore’s latest special, Chandelier Status, on Showtime starting May 31. Find out more about the star: www.sommore.com