For the last few years, we’ve been witnessing a refreshing surgence of content created by Black female comedians that has encompassed multi-faceted representations of Black women.
Black female comedians are showing up on the big and small screens with more opportunities to display all facets of Black womanhood through comedic relief, and audiences and major platforms all around the world are watching with their eyes wide open.
Angel Laketa Moore, also known as ThatChickAngel, is becoming a household podcast name as she co-hosts the weekly heartwarming, humorous show, Here’s The Thing, with comedian KevOnStage, an EBONY 2022 Power 100 Influential Creator awardee. You get layers with Angel. Something we didn't often see regularly on television growing up, where consistent representations of Black women just existing, chilling and living a full experience of regular life on the small screen was an exception. So when Moore agreed to speak with EBONY, one of the first things we wanted to discuss with her was the very in-your-face shift we see happening with Black female comedy and how it is increasingly humanizing life experiences in Hollywood.
EBONY: For a while, it seemed like there was a level of vulgarity needed in Black female standup shows to gain an audience. This wasn’t a bad thing, but it was definitely noticeable. Now, however, there’s a shift happening. Do you have a perspective on this?
Angel Laketa Moore: If we're thinking of the likes of Sommore or Monique and the Queens of comedy? Yes. Very vulgar. I absolutely loved it. Love it. Mind you there were women prior to these women, but what I think about is that we didn't have spaces to have those types of conversations and [use] that language [as women]. They got to talk about sex on stage and [in] lyrics. They got to be aggressively sexual in movies.
I'm sure there were female comedians that weren't that vulgar, but we aren't talking about them. Sometimes you need that shock factor to stand out. And I appreciate that they were brave enough. For a while, people were saying women weren't funny period.
I do believe it's the groundwork that was laid by those women who had the shock value that allows people in my generation, and younger generations, to be able to talk about whatever they want to. Whether that be sex or just regular observational comedy.
How do you feel about the Black Twitter conversations around male comedians dressing up and mocking Black women for comedic purposes?
There’s so many sides to this coin. You know, this is nothing new. We watched it with some of our comedic heroes. We watched it with Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence and Jamie Foxx. This is nothing new. The other day I was talking about how Shenae-nae was actually one of my favorite characters that Martin Lawrence created. And the reason why I liked her was because she was three dimensional. She was this round the way girl, but she was also a business owner. She was also very savvy and very smart. She would outwit everybody on the show. So yeah. Were there stereotypes that we could have gone without? Absolutely! But she felt like a real person.
And I can't speak to it fully because I'm not a part of the community, but I think it also says a lot about the view of the trans community as well. A man being in feminine clothing and being made fun of is offensive, and this was something I had to be educated on recently.
Many would never think of that point of view.
So there's that side, now let’s come from the perspective of being a Black woman. When it’s the lowest common denominator, it’s like okay. There is a way to try to make Black women one-dimensional. Yes, we have a lot of commonalities.
However, I do think a lot of times there is a dumbing down and a lack of nuance. It's a low-hanging fruit. It's like, so if I smack my lips and I roll my head, you then embody what it is to be a Black woman. Can we be sassy? Absolutely. Can we check you like anybody else? We will read you like it's the bible. But, there are a lot of other nuances to us. And I do think, you know, men always have the audacity to fit in a lane.
A lot of them are making fun of the women that they've grown up with. You know what I'm saying? Like their sisters, cousins, and aunts. So for them, they might not be trying to make a generalized statement, even though the delivery looks very generalized.
One of the things you’ve done joining the Here’s the Thing podcast is add a perspective from a woman’s perspective. The conversation about Druski’s controversial skit really stood out.
I definitely remember us talking about that and I remember Kevin and Josh trying to mansplain to me why I wasn't getting it. And I was like, unfortunately, I fully get exactly what he's trying to do.
This was not something that I feel like we've talked enough about to joke about. You know what I'm saying? While I think that comedy can find its place, wherever it wants to reside, I do think when you're handling something that hasn't even been handled in a real way in our community, you have to be even more careful so that your intentions are clear.
How does it feel to bring comedic relief to the Black audience during the pandemic, particularly with Here’s The Thing, and the content you and Marcus create together?
I love it. This is my gift. God gave me this gift to use. I was actually talking to my therapist, we talked about what I felt like my purpose was in life. And I was like, oh I'm not even confused about that. And she was like, what is it? I was like, it is to bring joy. It's not overwhelming because I have found ways to refill that tank. I get joy from being with my boys, being, and working with my husband. I get joy from being around Black women and my female friends. So I am able to give from the surplus of joy that I have. I'm giving from a tank that is splashing over. I really wish everybody got a chance to see themselves walk in their purpose and hear how their purpose is affecting other people. So, you, ain't never gonna hear me complain about having to do Here’s the Thing weekly, or any of the podcasts I do now.
Is there anything you wish someone would have prepared you for as a Black woman in the comedy and entertainment industries?
I wish somebody would've said stop asking for permission. Don't wait for anybody to co-sign [your dreams]. Do it. Don't ask for permission to burn the whole thing down. It's fine. You can rebuild it. Like truly do whatever it is that you wanna do. You are the only person that needs to say yes in the equation.