isters are doing it for themselves-finally-in the trendy daytime TV format of all-female chatfests. On the high heels of such shows as The View and The Talk comes The Real, the new FOX syndicated series that premiered in the fall on Detroit's FOX 2.
Detroit native Loni Love, the saucy, shoot-from-the-hip comedian known for dispensing romantic advice on Chelsea Lately, Ellen and The Wendy Williams Show, anchors this feminine forum, surrounded by four other ladies of color. There's '90s TV groundbreaker Tamera Mowry, Braxton Family Values star and singer Tamar Braxton, Asian-American fashion expert Jeannie Mai and Latina "Cheetah Girl" Adrienne Bailon.
"The Real is going to be, I believe, a jolt to daytime television," Love declares. "There is no other show that has all women of color. I think right now, especially with what's going on in this country, we need to show all different types of cultures and points of view."
Raised by a single mother in the Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects, Love, 43, graduated from Cass Tech while working on the line at General Motors, earning a GM scholarship that led to her engineering degree from Prairie View A&M University in Texas. It was there, between classes, Love was bitten by the comedy bug, moving to California after graduation to begin her standup career. Dubbed "America's Sister," she is author of the book, Love Him or Leave Him, But Don't Get Stuck with the Tab: Hilarious Advice for Real Women.
How did you find out about The Real?
I had a development deal already with (production company) Telepictures, then they came up with this great idea to have a panel show with women of color. They asked if I would like to be a part of it, and you know I love anything that promotes women.
Did you know your co-hosts beforehand? Was there a 'chemistry test,' if you will, to see how you'd get along?
I knew of the girls, because being in the entertainment industry you know of each other. There were a few chemistry tests just to see how we reacted, and we were with other actresses as well. But the five of us just really clicked. When we sat down with each other, there was this instant energy. I can't explain it, but it was like we were all sisters.
Did growing up in Detroit influence your comedy at all?
The thing I love about Detroit is that it taught me to be real. I think that's where I get my humor from. My humor comes from the truth. So I may look at something, try to find the truth in it, then I twist it and that's what gives you the joke.
Seems like you got your work ethic from here, too.
Well, I have to attribute that to my mom (Frances Gill). Growing up in the Brewster projects, we were poor. I didn't know we were poor. My mom always taught me to work hard and be honest. Even though I grew up in the crack era, with a lot of trouble around me, she always was able to find humor in bad situations. I think that's what you can say now, that I've taken her teachings.
How did you prep to be a national talk show host?
I really want to thank a lot of the women in daytime talk for helping me personally. Bethenny, Wendy Williams, Ellen DeGeneres-they've been huge supporters. Ellen took me under her wing and let me just observe her beyond being on her show; see how things are run. When they say women don't help other women, that's just not true.
So much of your comedy and career is based on love and relationships, so we have to ask: How's your love life?
I have two boyfriends, one half my age and one double my age. I'm a single woman. I believe in multi-dating-and you will hear about that. My co-hosts are in relationships, but I just have a different viewpoint. I am an open book, and I don't have a problem saying it.