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For a Night of ‘Real’ Comedy: “Loni Love at Gotham Comedy Club”

Of the many things one can do for fun in my fair city one of the most fun is attending a show at a comedy club. I don’t attend as much as I should be because my schedule is always packed. It takes a special performer to get my attention, make me sit up, take notice, and buy a ticket. I am proud to say I have seen the best of the best. This past weekend was no different.

It all began last summer. There was a trial run of a brand new talk show that I became addicted to. Normally I hate daytime television. There are mostly talk shows and I don’t care what celebrity is dancing on Ellen, nor do I need to see who the father is on Maury. But all of that changed for me after seeing this show. I have a daytime talk show that I cannot get enough of! It features Tamar Braxton, Tamera Mowry, Jeanine Mai, Adrienne Bailon, and last but not least, Loni Love. In case you haven’t figured it out already I am talking about “The Real”.

“The Real” is everything it should be. It’s funny, serious, and educational. The women that are hosting speak openly about every topic that comes up. For as much as they are famous they are also “real” about their life experiences. I feel like I am apart of the table while they are having a conversation. The so-called “real” discussion breaks down the wall that separates the fans and the hosts. It reinforces the fan worship. “Girl Chat” is by far my favorite part of the show. I need this in my life every now and again.

As each of these hosts has their own separate talents and previous careers Loni Love’s is comedy. She has appeared on countless television shows. I was a fan of hers before I started seeing her on my tv everyday. So when I happened to come across an ad for her show in April thanks to Time Out New York, I knew I had to go.

I love a good comedy show. I mean, how can you not? You are going out for the night and know you will leave laughing and in a good mood. There is no downside especially when you are seeing a performer you had admired for a long time.

Being that I live in New York City I have access to many great talents every year. But since I have a budget to live off of I have to pick and choose each year what my priorities will be. For instance I haven’t seen Bill Maher in a while but plan to when he visits in November for the annual Comedy Festival ( He usually performs at the Beacon Theater, a newly renovated venue I love.

Another great venue is Caroline’s on Broadway. It is in Time Square in midtown Manhattan. It is a great location and they have many popular acts all year long. I highly recommend looking into it if you are looking for something to do one night.

I believe that the first comedy club I ever went to was during my college years. It was downtown at the Comedy Cellar and the headliner was a man named Colin Quinn. At that time he was a popular S.N.L. cast member. Although I do not remember what he said I know he was incredibly funny. I was so excited to see someone that was a star in my eyes. In this relatively small room we were all packed in like sardines. This just made Colin seem that much closer.

I saw another S.N.L. star but it wasn’t in a comedy club. Instead it was Will Ferrell portraying President George W. Bush on Broadway. He was brilliant on Broadway as he played the former President and I couldn’t get enough.

I saw Colin Quinn many years later when he opened for Jerry Seinfeld ( during his five show borough tour of New York City. It was nice to see a familiar face and as far as opening acts go his act was amusing and a good warm up for what was coming. No disrespect to Colin but Jerry’s act takes the cake!!! I was never a die hard fan of “Seinfeld” and that didn’t seem to matter. I remember laughing from the moment he walked on stage with such force my abs were killing me. I couldn’t even keep up with him every joke was funnier than the next and when it comes at that speed your brain goes into overdrive. I always want a transcript so I can accurately remember what I was laughing about. A transcript for this show would have been ideal.

The only other act that could top Jerry’s was the legend herself, Ms. Joan Rivers ( I wont go into too much details because my tears are real but lets say she was the funniest, smartest, fastest, talented comedian, actress, woman I have ever known. Yes known, despite the fact that our relationship consisted of me watching her when I was suffering in pain from one of my many chronic migraines acts as her jokes calmed and comforted me.

Joan was the last comedian I saw and that was back in 2013. This brings us back to Ms. Loni Love and her show this past weekend.

Loni Love was performing at the Gotham Comedy Club on Twenty-third Street in N.Y.C. It is a nice central location. There were two shows a night for three nights making the availability of tickets within reach.

I had never been to this venue before. Turns out it was a hidden gem. It looked like it had been redone recently, everyone was very helpful, and the seats were comfy. In these types of settings you are usually on top of each other. Here there was plenty of room and they had an array of beverages and food to choose from. You could settle in and enjoy the show with no problems. I now know to keep this venue in my sights for future events.

Before my headliner came out there were two opening acts. The first was Jim Mendrinos. He got off to an awkward start but then got his jokes rolling. The best part of his act was when he was talking about all of the boroughs versus Manhattan and the attitudes of residents based on where you are from. It is the kind of inside jokes you only get if you live here. I found it delightful and I especially like when he said: “Staten Island is its own country, you have to take a boat just to get there”. Still makes me smile.

Then we met Pat Brown. She was hysterical. It too took her a few minutes to warm to the crowd but then she hit her stride. Of the many things she said I love that she says the best way to tell if someone has money is if they shop at Wholefoods. She also had a lot of jokes about being single and living in New York City since she left her hometown of Philadelphia.

Finally at long last it was Loni’s turn. She came out full of energy and had me dying laughing from the first seconds she was on stage. Her act is slightly more vulgar than she is on daytime, naturally. There were bits about her weight, being a “satisfied single”, her hit show, and ultimately about how you should never settle for a life you don’t want. Her message is based on her life, a girl growing up with a single mom in Detroit public housing, who now has met the current President and First Lady.

Joke after joke, my sides are still splitting. I don’t know how she did it but she included parts of the audience and talking it all the way through back to her opening lines. It is like watching a magician pull a rabbit out of a hat. You don’t understand how you got there but you are so glad you were in the room. I could have laughed all night long but alas she had to get ready for the second show of the evening.

Loni Love has made her one life packed with enough living for nine lives. It has been a wild ride so far and I can’t wait to see what she does next. It is comforting to at least know that she will continue telling the stories of her journey the next time I see her. Thankfully I only have to wait until tomorrow morning.

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