Loni Love handles comedy at Fat Fish BlueWritten by Jeff McGinnis | | email@example.com
“So, I really have to say because of my upbringing, and thanks to my mother being a strong woman — she told me I could do whatever I wanted to do to get out of the Projects. Because of that, that led me to know that if I see something I like to do, or think I can do it, I just work towards it. And I don’t let anybody tell me that I can’t do it.”
The Motor City native has defied such negativity ever since, leading to a career as one of Hollywood’s hottest comics, with regular hosting gigs, appearances as a regular panelist on “Chelsea Lately,” acting roles and more to her credit. She will appear in the Toledo area for the first time at Fat Fish Blue in Levis Commons starting Aug. 18.
Comedy wasn’t Love’s first choice of career, however. Her original plan, inspired by her time as an employee at an auto factory in Detroit, was to work in engineering. She got her degree from Prairie View A&M University in Texas. While attending school, however, financial necessity led to creative invention.
“It never hit me until I was broke in college, and there was a contest, and the contest paid $50 for the best story. And, I thought it was fascinating that they paid me, because I just made up a story, and I won that $50. And that kinda started my comedy career,” Love said.
“So, that’s what got me interested. I thought it was fascinating that people pay people to tell stories.”
She began performing comedy on the side, earning extra money here and there. It wasn’t until after her graduation, having already gotten a job, that she decided to pursue stand-up as a proper career.
“What encouraged me to go into comedy full-time was, I went to The Comedy Store down in Hollywood one day, and I saw that there were a lot of males, and there was only one female performing that night. And I just figured that there had to be more females out there that needed a female voice. And so that’s what got me involved in it,” Love said.
Love quickly rose through the ranks as a promising young comic, with a stint on the revival of “Star Search” helping to boost her visibility.
“It really taught me about how different live comedy is from what you see on television. It’s a whole different type of muscle when you’re doing comedy on TV. Because you may have a joke that you can do live, but you can’t do it on TV. It may not translate — it’s not about the language, it may just be your reference, or the way you look or something like that. Television is very much different, and that’s what ‘Star Search’ taught me,” she said.
Nowadays, Love is most visible as a regular panelist on E!’s “Chelsea Lately.” Like many of her fellow panelists, Love had met host Chelsea Handler while they both were touring as comics.
“The reason why the Chelsea show is a hit show is because of Chelsea. Chelsea allows each person to be whoever they are and she encourages them to be the best that they can be. She doesn’t care — if she does a joke about you, you can do a joke about her. She encourages you to just be yourself,” Love said.
Love plans on being herself at Fat Fish Blue. “All the television I do is either in acting, or you see me do one or two-liners. It’s not a full show, and it doesn’t describe me. People may have a certain concept or thought about me because they see me for one or two minutes on TV. When you come and see me live, you get to see a lot more of me, and get to see that I’m not necessarily what you think.”