"Her style is not similar to mine but her struggles are similar. I watched Moms (Mabley) when I was young. She was the
only female women of color that did stand-up," said iconic comedian/actress Luenell about the woman whose name adorns
the honor she will be given on August 24, 2017 at the LOL Comedy Honors in New York - the "Moms Mabley Legacy Honor."
Luenell, as a comedian, is known for her unfiltered comedy, distinctive voice and short
blond hair, reminiscent of SisQo. Luenell passion was always acting, that passion motivated her to love to Los Angeles from
her hometown of Tollette, Arkansas. Through a series of events while living in Long Beach she ended up doing stand-up as a
dare. She was so good she garnered opening act gigs with D. L. Hughley and Robin Harris. After making a name on the stand-up
comedy circuit she went back to her acting passion landing a role in The Rock starring Sean Connery in 1996 and Borat starring
Sacha Barton Cohen in 2008, which propelled her to icon status. Of course because she is not only black but a female she is
still waiting for the iconic worldwide recognition (and may be money) that should accompany the title.
"I can image what she (Moms Mabley) went through about her money. She
was a pioneer. I am honored that anybody is thinking of me. We (women) are often an after thought...'oh yea Wanda, oh yea
Monique'. So I am just proud," Luenell said sincerely.
Luenell's management services only her and her steady progress shows that this is the case. Luenell also gives credit
to her iconic achievements to her first publicist, a dear friend of mine, Eugenia Wright. Eugenia was able to get Luenell
(and clients I consult in entertainment business/PR) on red carpets in front of media from all over the world and in major
award show gifting events so that she could mingle with the Hollywood elite.
"Her (Eugenia) birthday and my daughter's
birthday are on the same day," she added.
made history recently when she had a photo spread in Penthouse Magazine. She wanted to show full size women that they are
still sexy too.
"I'm excited about the Penthouse spread. I am the first black woman of my age and my size (to
have a spread in Penthouse)...history making," Luenell said. "It didn't rock the world like I imagined....I hope
it makes women like me realize that (because you are plus size) it doesn't mean you don't have swag or is less sexy... I showed
my daughter first...I would never to anything to embarrass her."
Upcoming projects for the living legend include a recurring role on TV Land's "Lopez" show, a
role in the films All Star Weekend starring Jamie Foxx and A Star is Born starring and
directed by Bradley Cooper. Her credits also include roles in such films as That's My Boy
starring Adam Sandler (2012); Think Like a Man/Too starring Kevin Hart (2012/2014); Hotel
Transylvania/Too starring Adam Sandler (2012/2015), and Taken 2 starring Liam Neeson (2012). She conquered television
as well appearing on Starz "Head Case;" "Chocolate News with David Alan Grier;"
"Californication," "The Boondocks," "The Middle," "Raising
Whitley," "The Tony Rock Project" and "The Rickey Smiley Show."
As a stand-up comedian she has left her mark on BET's "ComicView;" Snoop Dogg's "Bad
Girls of Comedy" on Showtime; Jamie Foxx's "Laffapalooza;" "Martin Lawrence's 1st Amendment
Stand Up," and the "Arsenio Hall Show." As a comedian she has toured with
Katt Williams and appears in his "Katt Williams American Hustle" DVD.
"I quite enjoy television. It has always
been my friend," Luenell said when I asked what makes her laugh. "I get joy from that. My daughter
(Da'Nelle) is 21 and she is hilarious to me. My Ex, who I am dating again, is hilarious."
I asked about her stand up show whether
it is a routine or made up when she hits the stage, she said, "Any professional has
a routine when on tour. You don't do new material every night. We segue to transition.
We have a beginning, middle, an end and a theme. I don't just goof off. My themes are women empowerment, sexual liberation...though
I am quick with it."
Luenell said the routine she chooses depends on the venue and audience. She recently
did a comedy show in my hometown of Baltimore
at the Comedy Factory. Seeing Luenell do her stand up show is certainly on my bucket list of
things I want to see. You can log onto www.HeyLuenell.com to see what is next for this iconic comedian/actress and follow her on Twitter @Luenell.