Loni Love Sets the Record Straight About Women in Comedy

loni love women in comedy

Comedian 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 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?’

When Loni goes on tour, she told us,  the question that she gets asked most is ‘are women funny?’ and she believes that the reason people think women aren’t funny, is simply because they aren’t used to seeing women in comedy, and in the regular clubs.  A few years ago she remembered being in New York, when a big guy came up to her after a show to tell her she’s hilarious, but he also told her he wasn’t used to seeing women do comedy.  “And that’s when it clicked to me,” she said.  “That’s the reason why!  They’re not used to us. Yes women are funny! Yes we have a sense of humor, it’s just that you’re not accustomed to seeing a woman.”

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.”

She also explained why she thinks fewer young women are attracted to a career in stand up, as compared to men, and it has nothing to do with not being funny enough. “I want the public to understand what’s going on” she said, “and the sacrifices, when you see a female comic, she has made many more sacrifices, I feel, than a lot of men have.”  The lifestyle that goes along with being a stand up comic, is much harder on women, then it is for men.  First of all, there’s the problem of the “comedy condo”.  When you’re on the road, instead of putting you up at a hotel, clubs will sometimes put you in what they call a comedy condo.  The comedy condos are not exactly a place women feel safe.   And then there’s the problem of wanting to have a family. It’s a lot harder for a woman to continue a comedy career while starting a family.  “What if you get pregnant?  If you get pregnant, you’re off the road for nine months and then you have to worry about child care,” Love explained.  “Your average female– if she has a child and a husband — can’t do that.”  She says that may explain why some of the top female comics are lesbians. Lesbian comedians, she explained, are not necessarily stuck in those same expectations society has for women.  They have a different family shift, according to Love.  Loni herself has had to make some big sacrifices in order to focus on her career.  “I knew I wasn’t going to get married and I wasn’t going to have children. Once I made that decision, then I was able to work on my career. And now everybody’s like, ‘why didn’t you have children?’ It’s because I wanted to be an entertainer. And that’s why I was able to go on the road and do those things.”

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.”

Loni attributes a lot of her success to her willingness to take on anything she was offered early on in her career.  Before she became one of the hosts of the hit daytime show, The Real, she was a part of a long list of shows covering different topics.  She’s done a sports show for Fox Sports, she’s done entertainment news for E!, clip shows for VH-1, and even cooking shows.  “I love to read, I love to research, I love pop culture, I love to report on what’s happening in the world and in our country, so that’s why as a comic I was always able to adjust to all types of shows,” Loni told us.  “In each situation I always considered it a challenge but I always learned something– not only about the subject but about myself and the industry.”  She’s never been afraid of trying new things, or venturing into new territory.

“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.

Follow Loni on Twitter | Visit Loni’s Website

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.

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