Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
As a newbie dramatic actress, Precious star Mo'Nique sprang onto the Hollywood scene last year. But the truth is, comedy fans who watched Mo'Nique's star rise for years -- on the stand-up circuit and on UPN shows like Moesha, The Hughleys and The Parkers -- know her calling card is bawdy, call-it-like-it-is humor.
BET's The Mo'Nique Show (11 p.m. ET), is her own, late-night talk show, which debuted in October. For her predominantly African-American fan base, Mo'Nique is a straight shooter, not a sugar-coater. And what a refreshing after-hours treat that is when the usual network stalwarts, from Leno to Letterman, suit up and trot out formulaic monologues night after night.
On a recent episode, she riled up her studio audience with tales of her oh-so-relatable struggle to drop pounds -- and the dreaded exercise regimen that goes with it. And here's where her act goes further than veteran talk-show hosts would ever dare:
"Now ya’ll know, [about my] little weight-loss thing," she said. "Mama's been kicking it in, baby…Mama’s been jumping jacks, squatting, leg lifts… But in me doing that, I realized I was not an African American…I am strictly an African, who happens to live in America. Now some of y’all will say, 'Mo'Nique, how you know you’re African?' Well, because our heritage will let you know the moment you get to sweating. The moment you get this thing [she grabs her hair] wet, it balls up like that," she says, clenching her fists as the audience howls with laughter. "You go right back to Africa."
"I think truth is good," Mo'Nique says. "Because when you tell the truth, it makes it funnier, because people can relate." And she is in a unique position to deliver it.