What was your purpose of writing this “Love em or Leave em”?
Loni: I just wanted to give my view on love and relationships in a hilarious way . I always get advice from my friends and family, as well as give advice to them so I decided just to put it all in a book. My fans mean a lot to me and I wanted to give them something, a part of me and a part of my advice and that is why I decided to make this book about love and relationships instead of just doing stories, there are stories in the book but it is also some sound advice on every aspect of a relationship because I have been through it all.
What was your favorite chapter to write and why ?
Loni: Well they all are kind of my favorite because there are certain stories that I shared that at some point. It is kind of like having children, I don’t have a favorite. I like them all. At some point for me that was a happy time or a sad time so it was nice to remember those times.
Do you ever get tired of giving advice ?
Loni: No, people always need advice and I like to talk and I like to help people. I think that once people read the book they will see that I like to make people laugh and I like to help them too. I don’t think love should be a hard thing, Love is supposed to be about joy and having fun and having a good time and sometimes love can be troubling but I think you should get out of it when it gets that way. A lot of that is revealed in the book and the type of questions that come up.
What would be the best advice you think you’ve ever given… and the worst?
Loni: The best advice I have even given someone, hmm… Actually the best advice I have ever given is in the title of this book. Either you love him or you leave him, I don’t care what you do, just don’t get stuck with no bills (Laughs). That has to be the best advice I have ever given because you know people need to make up their own mind about their relationship. The only thing I can say is, Just don’t get caught with no bills, don’t get caught with no diseases, just don’t get caught with something you don’t want, whatever that is, just don’t get caught with that. I think the worst advice I have ever given someone is not telling them something. You know, when I was younger you don’t want to get into peoples business , you know you’re afraid to give you advice or your option. I think that was the worst I have ever given, was not giving advice. Soo… that is why I give it now.
You covered so many topics in this book, I was sure with the increased popularity of men on the “down low” that you were going to touch on this subject. How do you feel about it ?
Loni: Well there are engaging questions in there. There is a question about the guy who used to be a man and now he is a woman.
Yes, that was a good one.
Loni: Thank you. You know the thing about the “down low” situation and why I didn’t bring it up is because I feel like a lot of people touch on that already. And that in itself is a really touchy subject. I wanted to focus the type of questions around what were dealing with right now in relationships.
So what makes your advice book different from other advice books, apart from it having a comedy aspect ?
Loni: Actually that is what really makes this book different, I am not taking everything so seriously. I am not a guru I am not saying that I am an expert. I put a lot of jokes in the book to help woman and men to stop being so serious about relationships. I mean if you are dating or even if you’re married you’re supposed to have fun. So I wanted a book that was fun and also gave some advice and that is what this book does. This book gives you some really funny things to make you look at love differently. Even going back to the question about your dude being on the down low, Come one, you know when your dude is on the down low. Girl, we can sit here and lie and try to act like we don’t… You don’t need no damn signs, when you know, you know. It’s just the fact that you want to be with that man. If you want to be with that man, fine. That’s why I say love em… or leave em. Just don’t let him wear your lipstick. (laughs)
Who would you consider to be your biggest role model, and why ?
Loni: You know my biggest role model would be my mom because I get a lot of advice from her. She was a single mother and raised me and she did it the best way that she could. We were raised in a poor environment but I came out okay. So I constantly admire her because they always want to say “Black woman is stronnnng” but we have no choice but to strong. So I really admire her because she showed me a lot of what you can do, even with little money. Whether you have money or not, we were okay. She would be my biggest role model.
Cool, Mama Love. I love her advice as well in the book. Mama love reminds me of my auntie. Let’s get into working with Chelsea Handler, How was that?
Loni: I can’t even take her seriously (Laughs). I met Chelsea in 2010. And when I say Chelsea was crazy… Oh my god. It would be hard just to be around her all day without just crying of laughter. Chelsea is one of the most giving and craziest woman . I always say that I like hang out with Chelsea because she likes to drink and she can loan me money. She’s like the person that if you need something you can go to her because as we all know she ain’t hurting lol. You know Chelsea is great to work with and it is really fun to be on her show. You know, she get the joke. A lot of people when they see us they don’t understand our relationship. Chelsea is my friend and will always be my friend. It is way worst off camera, What you see on camera is a snippet. But we have such a good time and we don’t take stuff seriously. I think a lot of people take things to seriously or are in competition. I am not in competition with Chelsea, She was the person that encouraged me to do a book, because of her success with books. She constantly encourages me on anything… especially with the drinking lol SHE ENCOURAGES ME ! She is just a good overall talented girl. And I am just so happy for her success and I am proud to be a part of that. We just have so much fun. And it shows you what could happen when your surround yourself with a bunch of crazy people, you could be so successful and have fun while doing it, and that is what she is doing.
What made you give up engineering to become a comedian ?
Loni: It was boring ! I was always falling asleep, sleeping in my car, I wasn’t interested. I guess it could be worst but when you are not interested in something, it becomes really boring. I wanted a different type of lifestyle. I started to do comedy in collage and I decided to get back into it once I started working and that took on a life of its own. We had a layoff one day at my job and I went to my boss and told him to please save someone’s job who really needed it and lay me off. He thought I was crazy, and said well if you ever need to come back. I told him I am not coming back. That is another thing I put in the book, if there’s something you want to do, you just need to go ahead and do it and not be afraid. I didn’t know what was going to happen but you know, it’s working out. I am very fortunate. But, if you are bored with something, get out of it. Especially if it is a relationship, Get out of it.
Going back to men and relationships, Can you please explain your obsession with Dr. Drew?
Loni: Ohhh that silver fox, That sexiness, that smartness. Everyone has what I call their “Turn Ons” and each person has their things that when they meet or see someone it turns them on. What I like about Dr. Drew is that I am attracted to smart men. I am attracted to a man that can teach me something. First of all he is so nice. What you see on tv the caring, the concern that is him… plus he got money (laughs). But he is also smart, I do explain in the book why I have this obsession with Dr. Drew . The main thing that I say to everyone is “What are your turn ons ?”. It isn’t so much about his looks, it is about the time the I have spent with him while working together, I am constantly amazed. And I get a free meal and free drinks. P.S. Dr. Drew does not drink, but he allows me to drink. Just to clarify that.
You have done everything from Stand up, to Movies to TV. What is your favorite one to do ?
Loni: What I really like to do , and I learned this from being on the different type of panel tv shows like Chelsea and I was on gossip queen and I have a weekend radio show in Café Mocha with MC Lyte , I like being in discussions. I like discussing things, I have a podcast, and I put it on with multiple people. I like discussion type shows so it’s more television. I’m getting back into movies, I just did a movie with Danny Glover so I am getting back into movies but I really do like the talk aspect of it because you can mix comedy with topical things and that is what my stand up is about. I always will love stand up and the live performances but with television you can hit so many people in a short amount of time that is really does help you with your exposure. I just really enjoy being able to talk about topics and make jokes about them and you know I think it helps America because people like to hear other people’s opinions and stuff so I really like that type of format. The talk panel format.
Being a CURVY: comedian, what do you think are some pros and some cons to that ?
Loni: A lot of pros include that you can make fun of yourself. When you are able to make fun of yourself people are more accepting knowing that you are like normal America. I feel like a lot of people on TV are not normal looking Americans. Being CURVY, you are a normal looking person so people will relate to you a lot more because you are going through the same thing I am going through. Ok, I bought this dress and now I have to get a different size, or I have to take it in here or there. Another pro is that a lot of people do look at how you dress and do look at how you handle situations when you are exposed more they want to be represented too. I think that is a big pro. Now a big con in being a CURVY woman in this industry is because you are not considered a “sample size” you really have to educate the wardrobe people on how to do it. I am very comfortable now but when I first started, I was never uncomfortable but you would worry about, oh they are going to thing I am too big or they are going to have to take my measurements all that kind of stuff. Now I am like, Raise these hands up, take these measurements, take this 40, 40 and 50. You ain’t looking at no 20 over here sweetie. You learn to be more comfortable with yourself you learn to joke about that and that is what makes it comical. I think a con of course is when people you don’t know try to talk about you or the first thing they come at you with is, you a fat ass and you a this, you a that. That’s the con of it, because that is the first thing people hit you with. But, another pro is that you learn how to hit people because everyone has issues, you can just see mine. You can see that I am a big girl, You might think it is a problem, I don’t (laughs) and people think that by them calling me a fat ass that it is going to shut me down, it is not going to shut me down. That is quite evident when you look at the Chelsea Lately Show. You are not going to shut me up or shut me down because you called me a fat ass. You are not going to make me think that I don’t matter or that my opinion doesn’t matter because I am fat. No, That is not going to happen. Now that person has to find something else and they usually can’t find anything else soo… by that time I have found a whole bunch of problems with them whether they have a drinking problem or their ugly or whatever it is, that is what you do as a comic when people are trying to come at you. Everybody has problems, everyone has some type of vice or an issue and it usually comes out or you can just make one up about em, it dosen’t matter lol.
What are some of your favorite jokes you like to tell?
Loni: About people in the entertainment industry. Like Kim Kardashian, I like to say Kim K has hired more brothers than the federal government. But I like her. I like her because she in employing brothers. I think I like to make jokes about people who deserve to be made fun of. I don’t really like making jokes about people who are nice and they are trying to do their thing. I try to mostly joke about certain situations like Morgan Freeman falling asleep in the middle of an interview. See stuff like that isn’t surprising, we just need to get him some energy drinks or something. It’s certain things that are just okay to joke about. Some people say all you do on Chelsea’s show is talk about people. I talk about people that need to be talked about. Amanda Bynes, is full of jokes right now. Its like you would not even be a real comedian if you didn’t talk about that girl. And Mariah Carey popping out of her dress on Good Morning America, who wouldn’t laugh at that. You a CURVY: girl now Mariah, you have had 2 kids so come on over to Lane Bryant with the rest of us stop trying to fit into those tiny dresses, embrace your thickness Mariah, stop trying to fit that 16 into an 8, it ain’t gonna work. So it’s stuff like that, that I like to personally joke about because I think it’s funny. I joke about relationships I joke about myself. When you are on tv they mostly want you to talk about what is happening so I have learned to do that.
With you being so well established in Hollywood now, do you still get star struck?
Loni: Oh I’m constantly star struck. I meet people all the time. When I met Usher I was star struck, I pushed him in the bathroom and tried to have a conversation with him. If you go back in the archives and look up the very first interview Usher did on the Chelsea Lately Show, He talks about how he just met me and I pushed him in the bathroom (laughs) So yes that did really happen. Or like when I met George Clooney, I screamed “I LOVE YOU GEORGE !” so he said I love you back. I am more of a fan, I am not one of these people that are like Oh yes, I have arrived. I am happy to work with and meet these people, it is a privilege to work with these people or share the stage or open for them or whatever it is. I get star struck.
Do you have someone that you would like to work with?
Loni: Hmmm who would I like to work with? As far as like movies I would like to work with Melissa McCarthy. I think she is hilarious. I like that she uses her physical as a CURVY girl to show that it doesn’t matter about size and that you can still be funny. It is not about her size that makes her funny, Its Melissa. Right now I am excited to be working with the girls on the new talk show “The Real” and that is Tamar Braxton, Tamara, Adrienne and Jeannie. I am excited to be working with them because it is a panel type show again, which is what I like and I think all five of us are very different, I can tell you right now I think that America needs to see this because we are all ethnic, or urban and for us to show that we are not all the same, that we don’t all act the same, or think the same. I am excited to be working with them for this project.
You mention break ups a lot in the book so we are curious, Are you currently single?
Loni: Yes, I am single with no cats!!!
"What we long for is free, and what we stand for is to be." +COOKiE VALENTiNE+ Part time party girl and full time line stepper. Vegas is where I call home. I have a heart for music and an eye for fashion and would love to hear from you. See something cute, hear something juicy... send it to me at Jazzlyn@curvymagazine.com