Most high achievers see themselves as their only competition, but it's true for Ashley Nicole Black, who was nominated for two Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Writing on "A Black Lady Sketch Show" and "The Amber Ruffin Show."
Many of comedy's most exciting writers' rooms have one thing in common: Ashley Nicole Black. If eight Emmy nominations and one win for writing on "Full Frontal With Samantha Bee" weren't impressive enough already, Black was competing against herself at last month's Emmy Awards for her work on "A Black Lady Sketch Show" and "The Amber Ruffin Show." The former is the first show to have an all-Black women writers' room, and the latter is the only network late-night talk show hosted by a Black woman. Black also recently joined the writing team for the critically acclaimed and hilariously heartfelt Apple TV+ series, Ted Lasso. Between acting classes, a bachelor's in theater arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a master's in performance studies from Northwestern, Black dedicated her life to performing. Despite her immense talent, credentials and education, Black was discouraged by the constant lack of opportunities for plus-size Black actresses. When Black discovered a new gift for writing and performing comedy in a Second City improv class, she left her Ph.D. program at Northwestern to bet on herself as a star. It paid off almost immediately with an opportunity to write and be a correspondent for Full Frontal. Black has repeatedly proven herself a powerhouse and told the Chicago Tribune she's ready for more. "I really want my own show that I write and star in. And all of those voices that have been ignored, I just want to be a part of bringing them to the screen."