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Loni Love gets real about stand-up, relationships & TV

Comedian will perform Friday at The Wilbur Theater

Colette Greenstein
Colette Greenstein has been a contributing arts & entertainment writer for the Banner since 2009. VIEW BIO
Loni Love gets real about stand-up, relationships & TV
Comedian Loni Love (Photo: Anders Krusberg photo)

If You Go

What: Loni Love

Where: The Wilbur Theater

When: Friday, February 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $20-$25;

Known for giving relationship advice to her fans in a fun and light-hearted way, Loni Love will show that same playful spirit in her stand-up this Friday at The Wilbur.

“There’s a lot of stuff that is happening that I tend to base my act on — relationships, pop culture, myself. You’ll get a lot of information and a lot of laughs,” says Love by phone with the Banner.

The Detroit native began her stand-up comedy career when she was in college at Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas. She was inspired to do stand-up because, as she frankly puts it, “I was broke and I needed the money.”

Love tells the story of how she was in a bar one night and didn’t have money and they were going to give $50 to anybody that could come up with the best story. “I just made up a story because I needed the $50, and that’s when I started realizing that people get paid to go on stage to tell stories. That’s when I started doing stand-up.”

Love continued doing stand-up gigs throughout college, and graduated from Prairie View with a degree in engineering. After graduation, she landed a job in her field in California and headed out West to pursue her dream of making people laugh. She hasn’t looked back since.

A comedian by trade, Love is also an actress, author and talk show host. In 2013, she released her book, Love Him or Leave Him, but Don’t Get Stuck With the Tab. The book was inspired by fans always asking questions about love while she was on the road.

“I was getting the same questions over and over again, so I took the advice and put it in a book,” says Love. “The big thing is, because I’m in my 40s, I’ve dated, I’ve been married, I’ve done all kinds of things. I know about relationships. I wanted to give my take on it.” She adds, “When I wrote the book it was basically a comedy/advice book. So, it’s not just like, ‘Take my advice.’ It’s also for women to laugh and have a good time. I’m really proud of it. It’s done really well.”

Love also dispenses relationship advice on her daytime talk show The Real in a segment called Loni’s Love Corner. “I use a lot of the advice from my book to answer some of the questions we get from viewers,” she says.

As one of five women on The Real (her co-hosts are Tamar Braxton, Adrienne Bailon, Jeannie Mai and Tamera Mowry-Housley), Love gets to connect with her fans in their homes on a daily basis. “There isn’t anything like this on TV right now. I think on other shows either you’re dealing with a single person or political news events. What we’re concentrating on is empowering and inspiring women by using examples of ourselves, having fun with our guests, thinking out of the box. … We try to tap into their creative side by playing games and having fun. I think the audience is responding.”

No stranger to intelligent, bold, opinionated women, Love was a regular guest on Chelsea Handler’s late-night talk show, Chelsea Lately. She learned a lot from Handler over the years, she says.

“What I really liked about being on Chelsea’s show was, I understood the importance of timing, and it actually prepared me for my job on The Real and being on with four other women.”

Love goes on to add, “One thing I will say about Chelsea is, Chelsea is funny. She has a quick wit and she’s not apologetic. If she said something or did something, she just dealt with it. She didn’t apologize for it. She didn’t let it get to her, and I think that’s why she ended up really resonating with people. We had never seen anything like her before in late night, as far as a female — unapologetic, witty — and at times getting you to think. I really miss her show. Her show for seven seasons actually helped me so much to understand television and the timing of television.”

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