*Comedienne Sommore has gotten a lot of coverage in EURweb.com over the years. We were all up in her face during her BET Comicview days, showed much love during the Queens of Comedy tour nearly 10 years ago and we’ve been covering her like a blanket ever since.
Now the native of Trenton, New Jersey (pronounced Tre’in by the locals) is making history as the first woman to headline an all-male comedy tour. Our Lee Bailey spoke with sultry jokester about the history making happening and how she’s handling all the pressure.
“It is (historical),” said Sommore. “It’s the Royal Comedy Tour and this is the first time a woman has headlined a tour over other male headliners. These guys that I’m on tour with, these are headliners. Any given person on this tour can be the headliners.”
Sommore told us that headlining a tour was something she dreamed of doing, and it was a long time coming. But now the time has arrived. Is she stressed? You bet, Sommore says she’s already had a taste of what it feels like.
“When I tell you its taken me 20 years, it’s a job that I’m handling,” she said. “Trust me, I’ve probably gotten a few gray hairs off of this. A year ago, we did phenomenal numbers, the reviews were great and I held my own and I’m looking forward to the second leg.”
Some comedians, male and female, go an entire career without headlining and are fine with that. But Sommore’s ambition would not allow her to be mediocre.
“I just got tired of blending in and I thought that the way that I could expand out was to get a tour where I could headline,” she told Uncle Lee. “I accepted it for years, I don’t know why. Because that just was the norm. It was ‘OK, let’s get ready for the show’ and it was always one female somewhere in the show, but she was never the headliner. So, I go to my manager and I’m like ‘OK, look! I think it’s time that I headline.’ We went to some male comedians and they wouldn’t do it and we kept knocking and kept knocking and finally we had a promoter who was willing to do it. We put together an awesome lineup. We have over 60 years of experience on this tour. We’ve got D.L. Hughley, Tony Rock, Bruce Bruce, Don ‘DC’ Curry, Damon Williams … man! It’s an awesome lineup.”
It is an awesome lineup and the brothers that are on the tour should be commended for seeing the bigger picture, but Sommore says some big name comedians were not feeling a woman being the headliner over them. Ego or lack of faith in a female’s ability to be funny?
“I think it’s a mixture of both,” she lamented. “I think it’s the egos and the perception that a woman is not as funny or we can’t pull the weight of it all. We just don’t have the following to pull it all together, but it’s been great.”
Being the headliner for one-night is stressful enough for an entertainer, but headlining a tour has to be tremendously stressful. Sommore breaks it down for us.
“As a headliner, by the time you get out on stage everybody has already told Kobe jokes, everybody has already told Tiger Woods jokes, everybody has already talked about the man with the ‘Golden Voice’,” she explained. “So, your perspective has to be either all the way left, or all the way right or all the way from a female perspective. You have to come with something different. When they’ve already heard five other headliners, these guys are no beginners, they’ve already heard them then you have to bring it like ‘Wow … hey!’ Nobody’s walking in by this time. You know, when the first person comes out people are still walking in, they don’t really care if you’re not that funny, they’re still working on their popcorn. I know because I’ve been there before. But when I come out there they’ve already had intermission it’s like ‘Lets go! This is it!’ I’m loving it. I’m prepared!”
Aside from her extensive comedy credentials Sommore admits she has a secret weapon up her sleeve, or perhaps under her blouse is more accurate.
“Well, first of all, nobody will have more cleavage than me in the show,” she joked. “Then again none of them are women so by this time you wanna hear what a woman has to say, about everything.”
To some comedians everyone is a target, but for this comedian there are two things she will not touch.
“Two things I don’t talk about; I don’t talk about Whitney Houston and I don’t talk about God,” Sommore explained. “Everybody else is fair game. I love Whitney. Whitney’s from Jersey, I’m from Jersey, I just love Whitney. People take their shots at Whitney but I just will not tell a Whitney Houston joke. I can’t. She’s a friend, I’ve met her before. You have to have some kind of guidelines. I’ve been thrown out of hair salons before for fighting for Whitney. I will not go the Whitney route. I know it’s crazy, but I won’t go Whitney.”
OK, she won’t go in on Whitney and she won’t go God as far as jokes are concerned, but everything else is fair game … and there’s a whole lot of everything else to talk about as well. We will certainly be in the house when we get the chance, will you?