The queen is back to play...but where are her spades?
It’s been 17 years since the iconic all-female comedian lineup show, The Queens of Comedy. One of those standout queens was Sommore, with her brash, relatable, no-nonsense style of comedy.
Her 2015 special, Sommore: The Reign Continues aired on Netflix in 2018. Now, she’s back with Sommore: A Queen With No Spades, a hilarious retrospective.
“I plan to win. I’ll renege with a straight face,” she utters in the special, now available on Showtime.
Let’s get the most fabulous aspect out of the way: her. pants. have. capes. Sommore has always spoken through her fashion onstage, but it isn’t necessarily a substitute for her voice. Nope, her voice is still present and accounted for. And you will hear her.
Sommore’s vivacious voice rumbled through my phone’s speakers as she pointed out her excitement for everyone to see her special. The veteran comedian also pointed out how the Showtime deal came about: She invested in her own comedy show (and herself) in Miami (this is the fourth special she has produced); the network saw it and wanted to invest, as well.
“I approach comedy two ways: as an artist and a business woman,” she noted. “I’ve learned so much as an artist. I’m growing. I think I’m wiser. I’m more in tune with my own voice. I’m able to give my unique perspective on today’s society.”
It truly is her unique perspective, as she asserted that comedy is an “individual sport.” She makes it a point not to pay attention to other comedians to avoid any mimicking.
“Anybody that hits that stage—if you can stand up in front of audience of people who have bills, kids, medical issues, a past, a future, whose funds are low, whose bills are due and make them laugh? I got all the respect for you,” Sommore said.
The show’s title is a nice play on words as a followup to her legendary 2001 special with Mo’nique, Miss Laura Hayes and Adele Givens. But it is actually a bit deeper than that. In A Queen With No Spades, Sommore makes a political analogy, touching on the transition from former President Barack Obama to that stale glass of Tang currently sitting in the Oval Office.
“Black people, we feel like we’re in the middle of a spades game and for the last eight years, we had the Big Joker,” she told The Root. “Now, we have no spades.”
She also dropped wisdom, providing an analogy for life.
“When you have no spades, that’s how you find your strength as a player,” Sommore said.
Since we’re left with “no spades,” and living in this hellmouth known as the Trump administration, I had to ask Sommore if she ever has difficulty finding the funny. Comedians often serve as our release from reality; does she ever find it hard to find that release within herself?
“Not at all,” she confirmed. “Listen, they always say, ‘If you ever want to know what’s going on in the community, listen to what the comedians are talking about’ and that is so true. I find something to laugh about everyday. That’s just the world we’re living in. It’s sad, but comedy comes from pain.”
The comedian reiterated how one can channel comedy through life experiences, the past, what you’d like to see...anywhere. “For instance, I’d like to see the day men could get pregnant,” she quipped.
Because I had to have a bit of fun with this funny woman, I asked, “What was the blackest moment you had in Miami?”
“First of all, it’s hot!” she exclaimed. “And me, I like clothes. I don’t like to be naked. Me being fully clothed in Miami, people be looking at me like ‘Now, where you goin?’”
In her Showtime special, Sommore discussed the art of pettiness, citing a friend who counted the shrimp in fried rice after ordering takeout. But is Sommore a queen of petty?
“Listen, I’m working on my pettiness,” she admitted. “And a lot of people are petty! People don’t like to admit they’re petty, but we are! But back in the day, we called it ‘being passionate.’ But yeah, I’m very petty.”
Sommore admitted some excited nervousness around the premiere but ultimately she wants everyone to know it really is her own perspective. “There’s no wrong way to do standup,” said Sommore, who told me she’s embarking on a 30-city tour with Mike Epps starting in January. “You either like it or you don’t. It’s just like rap music; people are saying ‘Oh I hate mumble rap’ but it just not for you.”
Still real; still a queen.
Sommore: A Queen With No Spades is available on for streaming via Showtime On Demand. To stream or for more information about broadcast listings, head to Showtime’s website.