Comedian Loni Love has had an impressive career, and she’s just got plenty more planned. Author, headliner, tv personality, actor and sister to all of America, now she can add Lipshtick headliner to her resume. This weekend she heads back to the Venetian Hotel for her second show headlining for the Lipshtick series of women in comedy. Loni will be going back to Vegas from Dec 5-7 to attend Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence at The Venetian Las Vegas as a special guest. It’s one of the biggest culinary events of the year in Las Vegas and hosted by some of the best chefs in the world – Emeril Lagasse, Daniel Boulud and Buddy – The Cake Boss – Valastro. We got to spend some time talking with Ms. Love about women in comedy, and her career, and she explained to us why people think women aren’t funny.
Loni Love told us she is incredibly excited about performing at the Venetian as part of the Lipshtick series this weekend. She’s always considered herself and her comedy to be a “voice for the voiceless” and now she’s particularly proud to be able to represent women in comedy. With all that she has accomplished behind her, she knows what she wants for the future.
“My challenge now,” she said, “is to take the message of comedy– especially female comedy– and keep spreading it and inspiring women that have a sense of humor to get out there and perform. And that’s why I’m so proud of the Venetian and the Lipshtick series. For them to actually showcase women….this is historic. Something like this has never been done before so for me this was a challenge. To say hey, I can do Vegas with this type of series with these great women. Some of the women I’ve grown up in comedy with, some women I’ve admired. To see Roseanne join us, it’s just an honor. So I’m just thrilled and excited.”
When Loni goes on tour, she told us, the question that she gets asked most is ‘are women funny?’
In fact, most clubs, Loni said, book only a few female headliners a year. It’s hard to sell tickets, she explained, so the clubs are less comfortable booking women. “You could go on the comedy club schedule and they may book one or two headliners a year,” Loni said. One of the reasons– its hard to sell tickets to people who already think women aren’t funny. Another challenge– finding women to headline. There aren’t as many female headliners to choose from. Loni said she has trouble choosing women to open for her on the road. “I would love to take a lot of female comics on the road with me but there are not a lot of them. There’s just not. And so, when you’re looking at a show, you do at one point have to say to yourself, I have to pick the best comic. I can’t pick a comic just because they’re female. I gotta pick them because they’re funny. And you need someone who has a good 25 minutes or 20 minutes. All of these factors come into play.”
“I want the public to understand what’s going on, and the sacrifices, when you see a female comic, she has made many more sacrifices, I feel, than a lot of men have.”
Love has been working at her career for 15 years now, and when she first started, it was rough. “I started out on the road. I worked a lot. I did all the small clubs and stayed in seedy hotels.” But there has been a payoff to all the work. “It’s nice now to be able to build up my name so I can be on something like Lipshtick, then also do a show called The Real. This is what I try to inspire other female comics to do. Keep working and you’ll see the fruits of your labor.”
“RIP Joan River, my mentor, she told me, you never turn down anything. Hollywood will let you know when you can take a break. You don’t ever have to take a break. They’ll let you know.”
“I would take whatever because you don’t know what you want, until you try it. Especially in the entertainment field,” Love says. While some comedians looked down on some of the types of shows she agreed to do, like VH1 clip shows like I Love the 80’s 90’s and 70s. In fact, she credits those shows with jump starting her career and getting her name out to the industry and to fans. Her number one advice to young comedians getting started, is don’t say no to anything, advice she received from a legendary comedian. “RIP Joan River, my mentor, she told me, you never turn down anything. Hollywood will let you know when you can take a break. You don’t ever have to take a break. They’ll let you know.”
And now she wants to pass on her own version of that same advice to young women interested in getting into comedy. “Go out. Go to any and every type of open mic performance that you can. Don’t turn anything down just try. Even if you get up there and it’s not working out, stay up there, do the time, keep writing, keep performing, and you will find yourself. And that is all you can do and keep building your name up but do anything,” she said. “Young female comics want to pick and choose, when you don’t know what you’re going to be good at. Don’t turn it down. Try it. If you don’t like it at least you can say you tried it. The whole point of success, 80% is showing up. 20% is the talent so always show up.”
Being on the road is hard, but it can be done, she says. This is why Loni believes so much in the Lipshtick tour and why Love always says, “even if you don’t come and see me, just support the tour in itself, because the numbers matter. And the support matters.”
Loni Love will be appearing at the Venetian Hotel this Saturday night as part of the Lipshtick women in comedy series. To get tickets, visit http://www.venetian.com/lipshtick.html And then Loni will be back at the Venetian from Dec 5-7 as a special guest for “Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence at The Venetian Las Vegas.” It’s one of the biggest culinary events of the year in Las Vegas and hosted by some of the best chefs in the world – Emeril Lagasse, Daniel Boulud and Buddy – The Cake Boss – Valastro.
Lipshtick: the Perfect Shade of Stand Up” marks the first time in the history of Las Vegas entertainment that a comedy stage will be performed on exclusively by female performers. Some of the funny women that have already headlined at the Sands Showroom include Heather McDonald and Iliza Schlesinger, Rita Rudner, Joy Behar and Caroline Rhea and Wendy Liebman. Upcoming performers include Whitney Cummings, and Lisa Lampanelli.