For another installment of our interview series ‘Women & Humor’, one of this year’s Comedy Hype Game Changers Amanda Seales expresses her life of comedy, and dating. The NYC native who for years has been entertaining fans on TV, as a DJ, host, intellectual commentator, and recently as stand-up comedian shows us a more intimate side of her life. Seales starts things off with how she feels other perceive her.
CH: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF, LIKE WHAT WOULD PEOPLE SAY ABOUT YOU?
AS: Amanda’s a hella funny, a super real mofo who takes no shit. Zero.
CH: YOU’RE PRETTY OUTSPOKEN. IN A RELATIONSHIP HAVE YOU EVER BEEN OR EVER SEE YOURSELF BEING SUBMISSIVE?
AS: I’ve been way too submissive in relationships to over compensate for my outspokenness in my professional life. Thus, allowing dudes to walk over me, get away with ridiculousness, treat me like doo-doo on a stick and take me for granted. I’ve been way too accommodating in my past relationships. I should get an NAACP award for the amount of brothas I’ve supported.
CH: YOU’RE A COMEDIAN BUT WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
AS: (Laughs) like, everything. But here’s an abridged list: colored du-rags, FUBU, videos of people falling, black men in baby blue anything, pirates, Master P references, my mom, pretty much everything Drake does off the mic, cat/dog lists on Buzzfeed, powerless racists, Cam’ron (his entire existence), my cat Lando Calrissian, women struggle walking in high heals, off-pitch singing, Steve Harvey suits, bad weaves, etc.
CH: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MAIN INSPIRATIONS BEHIND WHAT YOU DO?
AS: My mom and being a role model for young black girls in a pop culture space saturated with reality TV basic broads.
CH: WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER TO BE THE FUNNIEST TV SHOW OR MOVIE?
AS: Coming To America and *through gritted teeth* The Cosby Show, Seinfeld, and News Radio.
CH: WHAT’S THE FUNNIEST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU IN A RELATIONSHIP?
AS: I don’t know if this was the funniest, but it still cracks me up. I was dating a painter and as I am also painter we would sometimes do live painting at clubs. At the end of the night folks would come up and admire the work and the 3rd time I went with him I ended up selling my painting but he didn’t sell his. This killed this dude. I could see his balls just shriveling up as the buyer counted out the bread. Didn’t talk to me for the rest of the night. Said he was, “tired”. Yea aight B. So next week, we come back to paint and our easels are set up next to each other as usual but as I start painting, I see some quick movements in my peripheral. When I turn my head I see that this negro is over there “dance painting”. Tall skinny ass locs having… Jar Jar Binks Avatar looking ass…. flittin back and forth, flicking his wrist to the canvas as he kept dropping, bobbin and weaving. It was hilarious! Cuz he was so heated about me selling a piece that he took to shucking and jiving to try to compete with me and draw more attention to him. At one point he got so into his “moves” he knocked the canvas off the damn easel. I just smhd thinking, in the words of Drizzy, “Look at you, look at you, and look at you!” Can’t just let a sista be great huh?! (btw I sold my piece that night and we broke up 2 weeks later).
CH: DO YOU PREFER RECEIVING TEXT OR PHONE CALLS WHEN POTENTIALLY DATING SOMEONE?
AS: Text if it’s logistics or even a joke but phone calls for friends and most importantly if you’re tryna date me. Dudes really be bout this text life, but buddy there’s too much of me to get to know through emojis!
CH: HOW IMPORTANT IS A SENSE OF HUMOR WHEN IT COMES TO DATING OR IN A RELATIONSHIP?
AS: It’s super important. Relationships are hard. Life is harder. If we’re living life together we gonna need a whole lotta laughs in order to last!
CH: FUNNIEST PICK-UP LINE YOU EVER HEARD?
AS: It was in Grenada, this guy tells me “Ay gyal, Thassa beautiful phone…show me ya apps”
CH: WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WOULD CHANGE ABOUT GUYS?
AS: I wish having honor was more of a priority than getting pussy.
CH: EVERYONE HAS THAT ONE THAT GOT AWAY. EXPLAIN YOURS AND WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
AS: Man, I wish I did have that one that got away. Because I would find him immediately and ask if he has any single friends ready to settle down!
CH: WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST ISSUE WITH DATING?
AS: It feels like it doesn’t matter how pretty, how smart, how real, freaky, loyal, funny, fine, you are, dudes in NYC are more about having options than having something real.
CH: YOUR ONE WOMAN COMEDY SHOW, “IT’S COMPLICATED”, HOW MUCH OF IT IS BASED ON YOUR ACTUAL EXPERIENCES? AND DO YOU INCORPORATE ANY OF YOUR FRIEND’S STORIES?
AS: Sheeeiiittt that whole show is based on my actual experiences! (Laughs). The good and bad. I incorporate friend’s stories as well because since it’s a show about relationships and not just MY relationships. I feel that it’s important that the it speaks to and from different perspectives.
CH: WHY DO FEMALES, ESPECIALLY AFRICAN AMERICAN COMICS HAVE BEEN GIVEN STEREOTYPES IN COMEDY?
AS: I think it is part of the bigger narrative of patriarchy. Which has always sought to keep women in marginal spaces.
CH: DO YOU THINK ANY OF YOUR MATERIAL OFFENDS ANY OF YOR EXES? AND IF SO, WHY?
AS: Hells yes, “Because it’s the truth and C.B.A.N.S. (Cornball Ass N*ggas) hate the truth.”
CH: WHATS NEXT? WHAT CAN WE LOOK OUT FOR FROM YOU?
AS: I’m just continuing to raise my profile in comedy and creative spaces. I look to continue dusting off my acting chops, touring with standup and my one woman shows, producing more , and most importantly collaborating with other like minded dope-ass gifted funny folks to make quality work that makes this world a bit more bearable.