On November 25th, a capacity crowd filled the Edison Ballroom in New York City for a historic occasion. The room was brimming with excitement in anticipation of Amanda Seales’ entrance on the stage. On this night, Seales would become only the third Black woman to be featured in her own HBO comedy special.
Seales is by no means a stranger to the world of entertainment. The 37-year-old Columbia University graduate made in her film debut in the hit 1993 movie Cop and a Half and the next year she landed a role on the Nickelodeon sitcom My Brother and Me. In 2002, she appeared on Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam and hosted the Sucker Free Countdown on MTV 2, going by the moniker “VJ Amanda Diva.” She briefly toured as a member of the neo-soul duo Floetry.
In 2016 she was cast in the hit HBO series Insecure, playing Tiffany DuBois. In the same year, she began hosting her own show Greatest Ever on truTV. On top of all that, Seales created a live comedy showcase entitled Smart, Funny, and Black, which sold out all 24 dates across the country.
With all her many talents, the Small Doses podcaster shines brightest on stage. I Be Knowin is proof positive that her comedic genius just may be her greatest gift.
From the moment Seales hit the stage, to a rousing standing ovation, she owned it. She was not playing any games as she held the audience in the palm of her hand, giving her hilarious take on relationships, sex, race, gender, femininity, hip-hop, and even the “Negro National Anthem.”
Clocking in at close to sixty minutes, Seales gives her insight on everything from the difference between compliments, observations, and threats from men from each New York borough, how Black women are the masters of complementing (OK polka dots!), consulting her inner gay Black man Latravious for fashion approval, white girl innocence, the levels of Blackness that a given situation requires, proper flight etiquette, talking on the block and in the board room, and so much more.
With spot on comedic timing and creativity, Seales gives a memorable performance that will solidify her as an emerging voice of Black comedy that knows no bounds.
There’s no doubt that I Be Knowin is a bold declaration of Seales’ arrival as one of the newest stars on the stand-up comedy landscape. She takes no prisoners with her intellectual, truth-telling brand of comedy. “Being a stand-up comic is an honor I don’t take lightly,” Seales said, “because I consider humor to be a superpower that allows us to bear the weight of issues and concepts that otherwise seem so much bigger than us.”
I Be Knowin premieres on January 26th at 10:00 PM EST on HBO. But if you can’t wait until then, check out the trailer below.