Shantira Jackson Thinks Songs About Jane Is a Masterpiece

Thanks to the coronavirus, comedians are now trapped at home like the rest of us, so we decided that while we’re all self-isolating, we’d do something a little different from our usual “Follow Friday” column. Instead of interviewing up-and-coming comedians we love on Twitter, we’re going live on Instagram every week to check in on some of our favorite people in comedy and get a firsthand look at how they’re handling the pandemic. So welcome to our new version of the column, now titled “Follow (From a Safe Distance) Friday.”

This week, I rang in the new year with Shantira Jackson (The Amber Ruffin Show, Busy Tonight, Saved By the Bell, looking very handsome in any hat), who sacrificed half of her union-mandated lunch break to chat with me about how she’s holding up in the global pandemic (and also attempted coup??). She waxed nostalgic about the perfection of an album that was Songs About Jane, got hopeful about the work-from-home future of the industry, and gave some excellent advice about pivoting from performer to writer and identifying your own unique perspective. She also explained the newfound creative freedom she’s feeling in being a Black woman writing jokes for a Black woman: “I didn’t have to code switch any of my jokes. I’d be like ‘Amber, I wanna do this thing with SWV.’ And she’d be like ‘Great!’ It’s really cool to know that my point of view can just come out of her mouth. And it’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before in my career.”

You can find Shantira on Twitter and Instagram at @tira_tira_tira.

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Shantira Jackson Thinks Songs About Jane Is a Masterpiece