Loni Love, who is known for her appearances on the Chelsea Lately panel of comedians ( starring Chelsea Handler ) , is bringing her stand-up show to Illinois.
Windy City Times: Hi, Loni. You were originally an electrical engineer. What led to your comedy career?
Loni Love: I was working as an engineer and started in college doing stand-up to supplement my income. When I moved to L.A., there were not a lot of women in stand-up so I decided to try it again. It got to a point where I got in the Aspen Comedy Festival. I did really well in that. That led to a deal from HBO. They were doing layoffs and I gave my engineer job to someone else that needed it. I became a professional comedian that way.
WCT: That is so nice! How did you get to be a guest on the round table for Chelsea Lately?
Loni Love: I knew Chelsea from Girls Behaving Badly. She was talking about the concept of her show and having a roundtable. So I did it and have been on it ever since.
WCT: So tell me about what it's like behind the scenes.
Loni Love: Chelsea is really a sweetheart. We really are all friends. There is no way that I would allow someone to crack the jokes they crack about me without us being friends. I talk about her, she talks about me, we talk about Chuy. It is all a point of love. The show is run very smooth. Chelsea is really doing great things for E because she is bringing comedy to the E Channel. We did an after-party for the Oscars with us as comedians, and the ratings went up 61 percent.
WCT: That's great.
Loni Love: E! has been learning how to put comedy in their broadcast. I really have to say that it is because of Chelsea Handler. Some people get upset with us but we are very careful about who we talk about and make fun of, Some people do crazy things and we have to make fun of them, Charlie Sheen beating on his wife, you know. The best way to talk about them is to talk about them.
WCT: Well, it's impossible to be nice to everyone.
Loni Love: Some people do stupid things. Tiger Woods cheating on his wife, that's a field day! It is a good way to release stress. We are surprised that it is the hit that it is. People love it and when you think about it there were not a lot of women in late night. The last woman that was successful in late night was Joan Rivers.
WCT: I just interviewed her.
Loni Love: Wow. I love Joan.
WCT: What is your stand-up act like?
Loni Love: My stand-up is for all people. Because of what is happening on Chelsea and me being on truTV, I am beginning to get a lot of diverse people. So my comedy is a mainstream type of comedy where I talk about myself, pop culture, politics and relationships. There is a little bit of something for everybody and we just have fun. That is why I say, "Get on the Love train." If you get on my train then you are going to have a good time. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!
WCT: Well, I will get the gays out to the Love train.
Loni Love: Okay, I love the gays. They are usually my biggest fans, them and women. I also have the gangstas, the street people…
WCT: [ Laughs ] So a mixed crowd!
Loni Love: Yeah, and you know what? It's amazing because at some point in my show I say, "Look around and see the different people and let's understand that this a great time."
That is what I am enjoying about entertaining. When people ask me what is the difference about being an engineer and an entertainer is that I can look out at the crowd and see all the different people. Making them laugh even if it is just for an hour to forget about their problems and issues. To realize that life is so fun, that is what I am trying to do.
WCT: You have a DVD coming out?
Loni Love: Yes, Loni Love: America's Sister. Our tentative airdate is May 22. We shot it this past December in Santa Ana. I had a great time. I have an opening that is very different from what Comedy Central is used to, so you have to check it out and see it.
WCT: Have you always had a memorable laugh?
Loni Love: I really try hard not to laugh on that show, but some of that stuff that we say and do is just so funny. I forget that I am mic'ed up. I am like, "Would you please turn me down?" I can't stop laughing.
WCT: It's funny. Don't feel bad.
Loni Love: But people say my laugh is infectious. I am not trying to laugh loud. I just enjoy myself when I am on that show. We are talking about things that are so fun and silly. I can't help but laugh.
Loni Love: America's Sister premieres on Comedy Central May 22 with a DVD release on June 1.