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Stand-up comedian Sommore ‘flexes her girl power’

Colette Greenstein
Colette Greenstein has been a contributing arts & entertainment writer for the Banner since 2009. VIEW BIO
Stand-up comedian Sommore ‘flexes her girl power’
Comedian Sommore appears at The Wilbur Theatre September 19, 2014.


Twenty years in and comedian Sommore is at the top of her game, slaying audiences with her sharp wit, humorous storytelling, and her no-holds-barred take on relationships, sex and money.

The first woman to host BET’s Comic View in 1994, Sommore is back on the cable network hosting the re-launch of the comedy series which debuted earlier this year. She needed little convincing to serve as host for Comic View.

“I was excited for the new and upcoming comedians,” she said. “I know what it was like for me and I was excited to be the person to introduce them to the world. I love being a comedian.”

In 1995, Sommore earned the Richard Pryor Award for Comic of the Year for her stand-up act and five years later, in 2000, she became widely known as one of the original “Queens of Comedy.” That same year she entered The Guinness Book of World Records as the first female comedian to perform before an audience of more than 44,000 in Atlanta, Georgia at the Georgia Dome when Latham Entertainment showcased both the “Kings and Queens of Comedy.”

Sommore has hosted HBO’s Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam, Showtime at the Apollo, and BET’s Live From LA, as well as several national comedy tours including the Latham Entertainment Presents Tour. She also co-produced and was featured on The Royal Comedy Tour, where she was the first female comedian to headline the tour over her well-known male stand-up comedy peers.

In a field dominated by men, Sommore has staked her claim in the comedy world. She’s a writer, producer, and an entrepreneur. She’s written and produced her own comedy specials. The first being a filmed version of her stand-up act in 2008 for Comedy Central called “The Queen Stands Alone” in which she talks about “simple things women can do by flexing their girl power.” In 2013, Showtime aired her sophomore special, Chandelier Status, where she discussed women in control, Tiger Woods and sugar daddies, among other topics.

Sommore is not one to rest on her laurels. In fact one of her upcoming goals is being a talk show host.

“I took that [BET’s Comic View] experience as a host,” she says. “I hosted the Standing Ovation Tour, the Love & Hip Hop reunion show. It’s grooming me.”

Sommore also mentions that she’s had several meetings about being a host. “I want something hot, fresh, with lots of drama.” She hopes that it’s a project that has comedy in it, preferably “some Jerry Springer type of comedy.”

In 2010, Sommore participated in Chicago’s Just for Laughs Comedy Festival as a featured act on the show Cedric the Entertainer’s Urban Circus, which aired on TBS. Over the span of her career, she has performed alongside the likes of comedic greats such as Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Steve Harvey and Cedric the Entertainer. She’s also appeared on numerous television shows including The Oprah Winfrey Show, (where Winfrey proclaimed her “a force to be reckoned with in the new millennium”), The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The View, and Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher.

Known for her stylish looks from head to toe, the glam comedian says she keeps the comedy fresh “by writing a new joke every day.” The only topics that are off-limit to her are God and Whitney Houston. “Everyone else is fair game,” says Sommore.

Of her upcoming show at The Wilbur, she says the Boston audience is “the right amount of urban, and the right amount of intelligence. They’re really smart. I’ll be performing all new material, real life stuff, what’s going on in the world.”

The Trenton, New Jersey native has come a long way from her days as a substitute teacher teaching algebra in Atlanta’s public school system. She’s steadily come up through the ranks of comedy and has experienced and seen a lot. But working in a male-dominated field still presents challenges.

“I don’t think it will ever be equal,” she says. “I think women will have to work doubly hard but I think women are making great strides. I cheer for comedians.”

The Wilbur presents Sommore Friday September 19 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $27. To purchase, visit

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