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Loni Love: ‘Funny Business’
‘The Real’ co-host laughs it up
Question: When and why did you start doing stand-up?
Answer: I originally started in college because I needed some money. [laughs] There was a comedy contest, and it was $50 for the best story. I got up on stage and made up some silly story, and I won the $50.
Once I got my degree in electrical engineering, I ended up getting a job in Los Angeles. I worked for Xerox. While there I started doing stand-up again because I really wasn’t pleased with working nine to five. I worked all day, then did stand-up again at night.
Q: How did you become a full-time stand-up?
A: There had been a lot of layoffs. After the third round of layoffs, I went to my boss and said, “Save a job. Lay me off.” I just went and became a full-time stand-up in 2004.
Q: What was your worst gig ever?
A: The only time it’s really bad is when you don’t get paid. There was this one time, it was a group of comics, and we were hired through another comic. We were in Los Angeles and were flown to Phoenix to do a show for this guy. Turns out the guy was a bona fide so-called pimp who wanted to try to put on a comedy show. And he did not sell one ticket!
Because there wasn’t anybody in the audience, he didn’t pay us. And when I looked at our plane tickets, we realized it was a one-way ticket! That was the worst ever.
Q: What was your best gig ever?
A: My favorite gigs are the ones where I get to work with a bunch of great stand-ups. Working with Ellen [DeGeneres and] being on Ellen’s show. When I do her show, we don’t have a script, we just riff off each other. I still consider that stand-up because you don’t know what is going to happen. That’s the best, because you never know where the comedy is going to take you.
Q: Who were your comedy influences?
A: In my younger years I was influenced by the acts I opened up for. People from Bill Maher to D.L. Hughley. One of the most memorable times is when I opened up for Eddie Griffin. We did seven nights in a row. I remember him getting a standing ovation every night. And he would do over two hours of comedy.
I remember it was a Saturday night [and] Eddie talked till 3:30 a.m. And he still got a standing ovation. And they weren’t standing to leave.
Q: What can people expect at your Timonium, Maryland, show?
A: People can expect to have fun. I’m bringing some great comics with me. They can expect to hear some stuff on relationships, pop culture, and because of the election coming up, politics. Our shows are a lot of fun. We just want people to come out and escape their problems for a couple hours.
Q: Is there anything you can’t joke about?
A: No. There isn’t really anything you can’t touch. I always say it’s a person’s discretion. There are certain things I don’t want to talk about. And if I don’t want to talk about them, I won’t. But the beautiful thing about living in America is you can talk about anything and not get arrested. [laughs]
Q: You also have a movie coming out called “Mother's Day,” yes?
A: Yes. It is directed by the legendary Garry Marshall. It stars myself, Jason Sudeikis, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston and a slew of other people. It’s like his other films, “New Year’s Eve” and “Valentine’s Day.” It’s a “dramadey” and it’s opening April 29.