ESSENCE's Future 15 list spotlights Black millennial disruptors who are creating a new definition for success. Meet tomorrow’s greatest influencers today.
When you think of comedy of the past, standup routines from greats like Richard Pryor, Mo'Nique or Eddie Murphy most likely come to mind. But these days comedy isn't limited to the spotlight of a stage. Instead, you can find it in your social media feeds, your screens and virtually anywhere you're entertained. In the digital comedy age, Amanda Seales (formerly known as Amanda Diva), is a major player and a comic canon ready to ignite with smart humor.
If she looks familiar, it’s because she is. She’s a former Best Week Ever star and more recently was promoted to a series regular on HBO’s hit show Insecure. She also stars in the truTV comedy series Greatest Ever, as well as the Empire After Show on Facebook Live. And if that’s not enough, she has her own online scripted comedy series Get Your Life that she writes, produces and stars in. Clearly, she’s no stranger to being a badass boss.
But one of her goals in being a comedian of color is to not be labeled and ultimately celebrate Black women in comedy. “There’s a trend of being hypersexual in comedy, but it’s not my thing,” she told VH1. “I talk about sex on stage, but it’s always in the context of being smart. It always has a purpose. There’s also this notion that women shouldn’t talk about sex on stage to be smart if they want to be considered smart and I think that’s BS.”
Sex or no sex, Seales is still committed to representing her voice as a writer and telling the truth in a humorous way. Earlier this year, Seales teamed up with Truth (no pun intended), to start an anti-smoking campaign that addresses head-on the popularity of tobacco ads in low-income neighborhoods.
Her smart, funny humor for the stage (and screens) is fearless and a force to be reckoned with.