Dulcé Sloan on Where She Gets Her Funny From - OZY | A Modern Media Company

Dulcé Sloan on Where She Gets Her Funny From

Dulcé Sloan on Where She Gets Her Funny From

By Joshua Eferighe

By Joshua Eferighe

Stand-up comedian, actress and writer Dulcé Sloan has a new podcast called That Blackass Show, is the voice of Honeybee Shaw in The Great North and drops in to The Carlos Watson Show to talk about her rise to the top out of a correspondent gig at The Daily Show With Trevor Noah. The full interview can be found on the show’s podcast feed.

Starting Off

Carlos Watson: OK. Dulcé, well, it’s always nice to see you and welcome to the show.

Dulcé Sloan: Thank you for having me. Nice to see you too.

Watson: Now, I can’t remember if you told me you were funny as a kid. Did you have that funny gene in junior high and high school?

Sloan: I think so, because I’ve had different people that I’ve gone to high school with say that on Facebook. They’re like, “Oh, you were so funny in school. This makes perfect sense.” And I was like, “Was I funny in school?” We had class clowns. I wasn’t a class clown, because I was like, “This is going to get me in trouble.” So I knew I couldn’t get in trouble at school, so I didn’t pull any of that class-clown stuff. But, I would say stuff, but I wasn’t like, “Hey, everybody. Look at me.” Nah, man. That would get you written up, and a write-up was trouble at home. So, no, I might’ve said something slick, but I wasn’t cracking jokes all day, I don’t think.

Watson: So what were you on a path to becoming? If I had talked to you in high school, what did you think you were going to do?

Sloan: Acting.

My mother said I kind of was always like that. I don’t even remember doing this. She said when I was about 4 years old, we were in a doctor’s office, I think either in Atlanta or Colorado, when we lived in Colorado. I had these shoes on. I was just clicking and clacking around this doctor’s office, pretending I could tap dance, and this lady sitting in the waiting room, she’s like, “Oh, you’re tap-dancing. You’re very good.” And my mother said I turned to her and said, “And I never had a lesson.” And I’m just click, click, click, click, click, click, click, just around this doctor’s office.

She said I’ve always been a performer. And I don’t remember doing that. But I was only 6 years old and I just said to my mother one day, I was like, “I’m going to be an actor.” And she was like, “OK. Well, what are you going to do to achieve that?” And I was like, “I don’t know.” So, I did chorus in school. So I started singing when I was around 10, doing chorus. In middle school, I did theater. In high school, I did theater and chorus. In college, I got a theater degree. So I’ve always been a performer. Decided when I was a kid. I was like, “This is what I’m doing.”

Watson: And was there ever a plan B? What would have happened if it hadn’t worked?

Sloan: There wasn’t a plan B.

Just because I couldn’t imagine … I couldn’t do … anything else. I just couldn’t. And it’s just something that just stuck and I’ve always had it because my uncle’s a performer. My uncle’s been singing professionally longer than I’ve been alive.

My mother did some performing when she was a kid. She was in a dance troupe. She sang. My uncle, he had a group, and now he’s a professional singer. So it was just something that I always had. Plus, my mother never told me to have a plan B. She was like, “If this is what you’re going to do, put all your energy in it.”

Big Break

Watson: There must be a backstory, because lots of people have a dream, but don’t always make that dream come true. What was your break? Did you have a big break? Did you have a special mentor? Was there some crazy opportunity that happened? How did you end up breaking through?

Sloan: Well, people ask performers that question a lot, and the only answer I can give you is favor isn’t fair, is the real answer. Favor isn’t fair. There are other people who are as talented as me that aren’t getting the breaks that I’m getting. Honestly, comics will ask me, and it’s like, “I can’t give you cheat codes. I can’t. I don’t …” because this isn’t one of those jobs where it’s input in and input out. You know what I mean?

All you can do, especially when it comes to entertainment and stand-up and acting and singing and all of this is, all you can do is just work as hard as you possibly can because you don’t know. I think that’s where the term “star quality” comes from because, just as a comic, you could watch certain people and go, “This person’s very funny,” and then you get frustrated. It’s like, “Well, why aren’t they getting late-night? Why aren’t they getting this? Why aren’t they getting that?”

The fact of the matter is, there’s just something in you as a person that is that thing, that is that spark that people want to see, because I’ve seen very funny comics, but I didn’t want to watch them, if that makes sense.

The Daily Show

Watson: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned while being on The Daily Show? And I mean that in a wide-open way, because, yeah, what have you learned? What’s the most interesting thing or two you’ve learned from your experience being on The Daily Show?

Sloan: I think the most interesting thing that I’ve learned is that the entertainment industry is still a very … The way that the show works is still a very well-kept secret.

Watson: What do you mean?

Sloan: Because there’s so many people, even other comics who don’t know how anything works. It’s one of the few shows that I’ve seen where it’s more than just a writer’s room and the stage. You’re way more involved with all of the other production aspects of it.

Funny From Family

Watson: Wait, now your mom, who I know and I love, even though I only met her once, is she as funny as you are?

Sloan: Yeah, my mother’s a goofball, but my grandma was goofy too. When we were kids, my mother loved the movie Mortal Kombat, so I remember me and my brother playing in our room and it’s dead quiet. We’re just playing, being kids. My mother kicks the door and goes, “Mortal Kombat,” and then just walks away like nothing happened. And we’re like, “What?” And she’s like, “What?” “Why’d you just kick in —” “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” And then she just went back in the living room.

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