Mo’Nique: First Lady Of Laughter

Comedic genius is often measured by the ability to attach laughter to some of life’s most troublesome issues. Mo’Nique is a master of intertwining comedy and confusion, and she has brought happiness to millions of people with her “take no prisoners” brand of humor. The Baltimore comedienne is best known for her now syndicated sitcom, The Parkers, and her ground-breaking role as part of the all-female The Queens of Comedy show that received comparable, or even more favorable, acclaim to its male counterpart, The Kings of Comedy.

With relentless determination to make her real life take center stage, Mo’Nique has tackled a few projects, and success has no choice but to be the end result. In a conversation with Alternatives, she touches briefly on a few of these new endeavors, including her new movie, her new book, and new comedy DVD that will surely leave permanent smile lines on your face. Get your laugh on! Alternatives: It is my pleasure to be speaking with you, and I wanted to first touch on these new projects you are working on.

Mo’Nique: Well, [my new] movie Hair Show is a feel good movie. It’s about two sisters who are separated over a miscommunication. They just mad! My character is [named] Peaches, and both sisters are from Baltimore. The other sister is named Angela, who’s played by Kellita Smith from the Bernie Mac Show. She’s out in Beverly Hills with an established salon. Peaches is back in the cut in Baltimore with a corner salon. Peaches gets in trouble with the IRS, realizes she’s got to get away, and so she runs to her sister. It’s not so much to run away to make things better; she runs to her to get some money from her. In the interim, they actually get to know each other, and begin to love each other again. So, it’s a movie about forgiveness, love, trust, and the climax is the hair show. Let me tell you, I’ve been to hair shows, but you’ve never seen anything like this. I’ve never seen the Brooklyn Bridge in somebody’s head!

AHHA: The Brooklyn Bridge?! [laughs]

Mo’Nique: Yes, with cars going across.

AHHA: I cannot even imagine that in my head right now. What kind of a designing genius must you be to accomplish something like that?

Mo’Nique: [The hairstylist’s] name is Kim Kimble, and she did all of the hair for the movie. She’s amazing. The hair that you see in this movie, you’re going to say, ‘Wow, how did she come up with that’?

AHHA: I hope there were not any electrical problems with that particular hair style. I would hate to hear about burned up pieces of scalp flying everywhere.

Mo’Nique: It was short while it lasted. [laughs]

AHHA: Who else shares the cast credit with you in this movie?

Mo’Nique: Joe Torry, Taraji Henson, Gina Torres, Vivica Fox, Serena Williams, Bruce Bruce, E-40, David Ramsey…just an amazing group of people.

AHHA: Talk about how you originally came across the script for this particular movie.

Mo’Nique: The two guys, Leslie Small and Jeff Clanagan, had a meeting with my brother and me, because my brother is my manager. [They said] they wanted to do a movie about beauty shops, and they wanted me to be interested. Once they explained to me what they were going after, it was a feel good thing. Then, they allowed me to bring in my own writers. Sherri McGee, the sister that co-wrote my book Skinny Women Are Evil, also wrote the movie.

AHHA: I wanted to talk about that book and ask you what possessed you to write it. I also want to know what kind of response you have gotten from that because it does seem rather controversial.

Mo’Nique: Skinny women are evil, baby! That is the big girl’s bible and the skinny woman’s warning. I had the best time writing that book with my writing partner. When we sat down, we didn’t know that this was going to be the finished product. We have things in that book to help big women out. We let you know where all the food courts are in the airport. In any airport in the country, we can tell you where the food court is. We let you know the best places to shop, the best places to eat, what to make your man for dinner, just everything.

AHHA: Basically, it is a guide to let women know not to let low self-esteem affect their daily life, right?

Mo’Nique: Yes. If you have a couple of stomachs, it’s ok. It’s called ‘sexual stuffing’.

AHHA: You also have a comedy DVD that was recently released called One Night Stand. Would you like to speak on that for a moment?

Mo’Nique: I had it going on! Baby, I had so much fun. For me, when I’m on that stage, I have just as much fun as the audience does. I’m going to laugh just as hard, and that’s because I’m having a good time.

AHHA: Where did the show and DVD recording take place?

Mo’Nique: We did it in Memphis.

AHHA: That is where The Queens of Comedy show was recorded at, right?

Mo’Nique: Oh yeah! We rocked the house. The house was packed.

AHHA: What was some of the subject matter that you touched on throughout the routine?

Mo’Nique: I pretty much talk about me and my life. I was newly divorced with two kids, trying to be a celebrity, trying to date again, and just going through the things that happened to me. I never told a joke. I promise that you that what was going on with me was happening to 80% of that audience.