That awkward moment on stage when you realize your talk show has been moved to the same time slot as “Empire…”
Last nite, I headlined the Virginia Beach Funny Bone and I began the show by commenting on how many black folks were in the audience. I was honestly surprised because Wednesday nite is “Empire” night in most black households these days, and these folks chose to forego that and come out to see me. In case you’ve been living under a rock, the show is a mammoth hit that gains more and more viewers each week. I was really grateful.
At the close of the show, I was telling the audience about “Exhale,” and inviting them to tune in and support, when I realized that we are on during the “Empire” time slot — Wednesdays at 9pm. I was recording my set, as I always do, so I caught that moment of realization for posterity. These folks came out last nite, but they weren’t trying to make it a habit… THE GOOD NEWS is that we premiere on May 6 — well after the “Empire” (and “black-ish” finale(s), so there are no excuses. Amen.
Here’s a little behind-the-scenes video I shot on our last day on set for “Exhale” season 3. We have a lot of fun together and we have great conversations. I hope you’ll tune in and check us out!
So… we’re back in the studio shooting the third season of our talk show, “Exhale” and I’m super happy the band’s all back together! We just wrapped day one, and it was probably the best day of my entire life. Better than the day I was on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Better than the day Wanda Sykes tweeted “I love @ejthecomic.” Better than the day I first tried Nutella.
Because today I got to interview Johnny Gill.
I have loved Johnny Gill since I was about 9 years old. In fact, his was the first CD I ever owned. When my dad bought our family’s first CD player in 1990, my mom and I went straight to Sam Goody. She got Whitney Houston’s “I’m Your Baby Tonight” and I picked out “Johnny Gill.” He is the best singer (don’t waste your time trying to argue this point) and my favorite New Edition-er by far and I’ve bought every one of his subsequent albums. I try to catch him whenever he’s on TV and if any of my friends sees he’s going to be on something, they’re always sure to let me know.
During the first season of “Exhale,” we did a show where we had some of the hosts’ favorite entertainers as guests. During the planning stages I dropped several not-very-subtle hints that I would love to meet Johnny Gill. Our fabulous booker, Carol, tried to get him, but there was a scheduling conflict and he couldn’t make it. I was super sad and so I recorded this [wide] open video letter asking him to come on the show if we got renewed for a second season.
I just got back from Los Angeles after shooting the next cycle of our talk show, “Exhale.” We’ve got a new studio, a new set and tons of amazing guests this coming season. I can’t wait for you all to check out our new digs and see what we’ve been up to! I’ll keep you updated as to the premiere date. I hope you’ll tune in!
Wednesday night was the big Atlanta premiere event for “Exhale!” I had been missing my co-hosts; it was so good to have the band back together again. We all arrived in town on Tuesday nite and met right away for drinks in the hotel lobby. We had our first round and then ordered a celebratory bottle of champagne, but we didn’t have time to pop it because we were running late for dinner. So Angela just decided we’d bring it with us. Apparently champagne is classy so you don’t need to brown-bag it while walking down the street.
Dinner was with ASPiRE General Manager, Paul Butler and author/playwright Pearl Cleage (#Swoon). Pearl is aMAZing. I’ve been a fan of her work for years and she was to moderate the cast talkback that would take place after the screening of the premiere episode the next night. She really got a chance to see that we are, quite literally, crazy people. I’m sure she was reconsidering her decision to participate. We shut that steakhouse down. Sorry, STK.
The next day began with press interviews and then came the Google Hangout with our director and producer and viewer-submitted questions. It was big fun, and gave viewers an accurate taste of what each of us brings to the show! After that, we had about an hour or so to get into hair and makeup for the big event! The Atlanta rain and humidity forced us to move the black carpet inside and it did a number on my wig. I’m glad we at least got a couple pics in before it fell totally asleep.