Rolling Out

Ms. Pat shares the secret to being a top-tier comedian

Ms. Pat has been in the comedy game for a long time, and has became great at what she does

Ms. Pat has been professionally making people laugh for years, but she’s been genuinely putting a smile on their faces for all of her life. The performer knew she wanted to step into the comedic lane since it came so naturally for her, and now she’s on tour and in season four of BET’s “The Ms. Pat Show.”

Ms. Pat spoke with rolling out about her career journey, some of the people she’s admired and studied over the years, and the newest season of her show. 

How important is it to continue to make people laugh in 2024?

I think it’s very special in this world. We all need a laugh, especially [with] somebody like myself who’s not going to edit my stuff to make you happy. That’s just putting comedy where comedy used to be back in the day. I’m not going to satisfy you, I’m going to talk to the audience as a whole and we’re all going to laugh together. I always tell people ‘Hold tight,’ I’m going to take you on a negro field trip.”

How has the comedy landscape changed over the years? 

A lot, especially with social media. You can put out a viral video and you can sell a million tickets, and you only have 12 minutes to tape. For a comedian who’s been doing it for 21 years, it’s kind of hard because if you don’t have the talent to work social media but you have the talent to stand on stage for an hour, a social media person will outsell you.

What interested you in doing comedy?

I’ve always been a crap talker. I’m that person who if you want somebody cussed out, I’ll go tell the next person exactly what you want them to say, and I’ll smile and drink with them. My friends thought I was being funny, but I wasn’t being funny, I was just being myself. When I realized I could make money from it, and you didn’t need a criminal history background check, I was like this is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life.

What is the best thing about going on tour?

The best part for me is that it’s one show a night. That’s one and a half hours I have to work and I can take my bra and wig off and get in my bed. I’m 52 years old, and by 6:30 [p.m.] I’m sleepy. I don’t have to do two to three shows a night, just that one show and I’m back at the hotel.

Who are some comedians you look up to and some you admire?

I admire Kevin Hart, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Wanda Sykes, D.L. Hughley, DeRay Davis. … I admire a lot of people. The people who I studied when I got in the game were Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, and Bernie Mac because I’m a storyteller. I needed to learn how to tell the stories in a funny way so people would laugh when I told them I got shot in the back of the head. I learned that from Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, and Bernie Mac.

What is the key to being a great comedian?

Honesty. I think when you’re honest and truthful about yourself, so many people out there can relate. A lot of people don’t like to dig into the past because they don’t want you to know the past. But when you can talk about what you’re going through in life, somebody in the audience is going through the same thing. I talk about having a gay daughter. Everybody doesn’t have a gay daughter, but everyone knows somebody that’s gay. I always tell people to just be honest because I don’t make up anything.

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