It’s almost time for us to see Yvonne Orji in her first-ever comedy special, Yvonne Orji: Momma, I Made It! on HBO.
The comedienne who is best known for her role as “Molly” in Insecure, will show off her standup skills and celebrate her Nigerian-American upbringing in the hour-long special that premieres on June 6.
Here’s the description:
Interspersed with vibrant, personal footage shot in Nigeria, Yvonne’s native home, during a milestone trip in early January, Yvonne Orji: Momma, I Made It! takes an intimate, hilarious look at what being Nigerian-American means to Yvonne – from her international haggling addiction and having her phone tapped by her parents as a kid, to the fine line between cursing people out and putting curses on them. The special was filmed before a live audience at the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C.
theGrio caught up with Orji to get the inside scoop on the stand-up special that invites viewers to her hometown in Nigeria. We get to meet her parents, who inspire much of her material.
“It was so important because I feel like to truly understand my comedic point of view, you got to see where it all started. You got to see my parents being who they are and providing endless opportunities for humor,” she says.
While Orji’s mother hasn’t always enjoyed being the butt of her jokes, she has learned to appreciate her daughter’s loving humor and impressions.
“I think what I got is what she didn’t get: which is the ability to just kind of live in my boisterousness…I can laugh at myself and be OK with it, where she was raised very differently, like, ‘A lady is to be seen and not heard,'” she explains. “You’re supposed to do everything to take care of the family. So I think it’s interesting for her to see me so free and confident in the world in a way that I don’t think was ever afforded to her.”
When it comes to her starring role on HBO’s Insecure, Orji admits some of Molly’s antics this season have prompted some slightly uncomfortable conversations with her parents.
“This week, I was like ‘By the way you, may not want to watch. Nothing bad but it’ll make you uncomfortable.’ I was trying to put all the parameters around it,” Orji says of the super racy episode.
“And then she watched the episode and she was like, ‘Well, it wasn’t so bad. It’s just the Black outfit.’ She’s coming around, slowly but surely,” she dishes. “You got to prepare them for the worst and then just kind of make it seem worse than it is so that when they watch it, it’s like, ‘Oh, we were bracing for like an areola. Thankfully, that’s is not what we saw. And OK, we can work through this one.’ I appreciate that she’s, after five years, able to see that somethings are acting and make-believe.”
Momma, I Made It! premieres June 6 on HBO.
Check out the trailer:
To hear more of Yvonne Orji’s thoughts on Molly’s messiness, check her out on this week’s episode of Dear Culture.