Quinta Brunson is seeking to redefine what it means to be self-made.
Brunson – a native of Philadelphia – began her career creating content on Instagram and achieved internet fame with her series The Girl Who Has Never Been on a Nice Date in 2014. Instead of remaining stagnant, she built upon her newfound fanbase by producing videos for BuzzFeed and eventually writing, producing, and starring in Broke for YouTube Red; for which she received a Streamy Award nomination in 2017 for Best Acting in a Comedy.
After appearing in recurring roles for some network television shows, Brunson got her big break as a writer and comedian in Robin Thede’s A Black Lady Sketch Show – and she hasn’t looked back since. Today, she has become a power player in the television industry, coming off the success of her breakout comedy hit, Abbott Elementary on ABC.
Her contributions to entertainment, as well as the culture, led to her being honored at this year’s ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards.
Take a look at the 13 reasons why Quinta Brunson’s rise is no surprise to anyone who’s really been paying attention.
‘The Girl Who Has Never Been on a Nice Date’
Quinta gained prominence and viral fame with this self-produced Instagram series The Girl Who Has Never Been on a Nice Date. These videos featured the phrase: “He got money.”
‘Beta Funny,’ Episode 1
Featured on BuzzFeed, ‘Beta Funny’ was a stand-up series that highlighted four new comics. In the very first installment, Brunson showcased her abilities on stage as well as an actress in some funny intermission skits surrounding her jokes.
TEDx UCSD Presentation
During a TEDx Talk at UC San Diego in 2016, she spoke about her upbringing, highlighted by the story of the moment she wanted to become a global content creator. In a powerful message, she discussed her experience in the entertainment industry as well as the way so many things influence the way we perceive ourselves.
The Laugh Factory
In another hilarious standup set, Brunson brought her unapologetic style of comedy to the sometimes-unforgiving audience at The Laugh Factory in Los Angeles in 2017. She touched upon stereotypes, politics, and even had a laugh-worthy bit about Harriet Tubman.
Starring, created, and produced by Brunson, this hilarious web series chronicled three Black friends who move from Philadelphia to Los Angeles to pursue big dreams while sharing empty wallets. After selling the series to YouTube Red, this was a turning point for Brunson, who wanted to make sitcoms on a larger scale.
‘Up for Adoption’
2017’s Up for Adoption was a mockumentary-style comedy that followed volunteers as they attempted to adopt dogs and cats at an adoption center. This show aired on go90 and allowed Brunson to create something not based on her and gave her the confidence to explore worlds other than her own through her writing
‘Quinta vs. Everything’
Another web series constructed by the Philadelphia-native, Quinta vs. Everything told the story of Quinta as she tackled the day-to-day issues of a young woman growing in her adulthood. Featured on BuzzFeed, the show resonated with millennial women and was also supremely funny.
‘Why I Left BuzzFeed’
In 2021, she released a YouTube video telling her story about how she started with BuzzFeed, and why she left. The video was a beautiful coming-of-age journey, and it also showed the importance of not remaining stagnant and comfortable in your life and/or career. Whenever you’ve outgrown a situation, it is healthy to move on from it and take on a new challenge.
‘A Black Lady Sketch Show’
In 2019, Brunson was a main character in the Robin Thede-created sketch comedy, the aptly-titled A Black Lady Sketch Show. She was also a writer for the HBO series. It was the first television series to have a writer’s room composed entirely of Black women.
Lazor Wulf, Big Mouth and More
From 2019 – 2021, Brunson shined as the voice of Blazor Wulf in this animated television program on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. She previously did voiceover work for Big Mouth on Netflix, as well as Magical Girl Friendship Squad in 2020.
“She Memes Well: Essays”
Adding author to her list of titles, the funny multihyphenate had her book “She Memes Well: Essays” published in June of 2021. In the book, Brunson wrote about trying to make it when you’re struggling, the importance of staying true to your roots, and how she managed to succeed as a comedian in the digital space.
Brunson plays “Trig” alongside actors such as Daniel Radcliffe and Steve Buscemi in the TBS comedy series Miracle Workers. Portraying a tough outlaw, she appears throughout the show’s third season in this standout role
Brunson does it all on the hit ABC sitcom Abbott Elementary. Starring, created, written, and produced by Brunson, this show premiered in 2021 and was met with critical acclaim. Earlier this month, the series was renewed for a second season.