This week, we’re highlighting 22 talented writers and performers for Vulture’s annual list “Comedians You Should and Will Know.” Our goal is to introduce a wider audience to the talent that has the comedy community and industry buzzing. (You can read more about our methodology at the link above.) We asked the comedians on the list to answer a series of questions about their work, comedy during the pandemic, and more. Next up is Laci Mosley.
When did you feel that you were funny enough to make a legitimate go at comedy?
I come from a very theatrical Black family, and one thing I love about Black people is that we don’t humor people. If it’s not funny you’re getting a “Bless your heart” or “Gowns beautiful gowns.” The fact that I could make my family laugh gave me the confidence to try jokes out on strangers in dark bars.
Describe your comedy in five words.
Eclectic live-action storytelling.
What of your work do you think you’re best known for, and what of your work are you most proud of?
I’m pretty early in my career so I’m not sure if I know what my “Moesha” moment would be, but if I had to guess, my podcast Scam Goddess. Robbery really resonates with people, and it’s taken me to some dope places and introduced me to some amazing people pretty fast.
If there were a ’90s-style sitcom built around you and your material, in which you had to have a different job than comedian, what would be the title and logline?
It would be called Meter Maid, and it would follow me ruining people’s days in my hater job. (I get a lot of tickets and I’d love to be on the other side.) My catchphrase would be, “I already started writing the ticket.”
What have you done for comedy during COVID that you thought you would never do?
I did a lot of outdoor comedy — sometimes on stages, sometimes outside on the corner like I was recruiting for a cult.
Who are some of your favorite comedians right now? Who is putting out work that excites and inspires you?
Quinta Brunson always has me in stitches — she’s effortlessly hilarious in this chic way I really admire. Bowen Yang, his mind is like a machine and he does not miss! I also love Mark Phillips — he makes the best sketches online right now, and I will watch him yell at anyone about ANYTHING.
What is the best comedy advice, and then the worst comedy advice, you’ve ever received, either when you were starting out or more recently?
Worst advice: I took one of those scam “meet a commercial casting director if you pay money” workshops, and a white woman told me my “sassiness” is out of style and people are looking for more variety from Black actors. I was being myself, and it made me shy away from what makes me great for a while. BE YOURSELF. *hops off soap box*
Best advice: I had an acting teacher in college named Ken Bolden who told me, “Every moment you get to perform in front of people, whether it be an audition or a show, is an opportunity to give people joy, and if you focus on that and not what people think of you, you can do it freely.” Loose quote, it was a few years ago, but it really stuck with me.
Tell us one story from your childhood that is a good representation of your life.
I once got dropped off for kindergarten on a work holiday, and by the time I realized the school was locked my old stepdad was gone. I walked home and no one was there. Then I went to the park and pretended I was with a nanny and her kids till they left. (The nanny didn’t call help for me and my family hates her to this day.) Then I walked through the apartment complex again, and some adults spotted me and asked if I was alone, but my grandma let me watch too much Dateline so I ran from them. I crossed a freeway to go to my uncle’s house and a day-care teacher happened to see me, picked me up, and called my mom. This story is a good representation of me because I probably forgot to tell my parents to read my folder — I’m a resourceful scammer, and the news has made me insanely paranoid.
What’s an embarrassingly earnest goal you have?
I really want to be a Marvel villain. They have the best fits and they usually get some jokes off. I want to be taken seriously wearing plastic, I am not ashamed of that.
If you had the power to remove anything from the comedy world right now, from trends with material to how the industry operates, what would it be?
I’m sick of comedians punching down and talking about “cancel culture.” If people don’t like your jokes or your jokes are harmful to marginalized communities, write better jokes!! Being alive is hard, and entertainment informs popular culture and the way people see the world. Laughing at
hateful, awful, stale jokes just empowers people to see those who are not like them as punchlines, and even worse, punching bags.
More From This Series
- Jeff Wright Is Always Going to Shoot His Shot
- Jes Tom: Twitter’s Favorite (Unintentional) Public-Facing Pervert
- Sam Taggart Just Wants a Casual Hang With Steve Martin
- Brian Simpson Is the Life of the Goddamn Party