Tiffany Haddish’s new Netflix comedy series is called Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready, . But Chicago native, comic Flame Monroe says,
“I would say it’s a great launching pad, but I’ve been launched a long time ago. And it’s just a new way to reintroduce myself to the world, to 190 countries, because I was out before it was very apparent that (transgender people) were all over TV and in the movies. I would have got chased out years ago by comics had I not had a thick skin.
I worked for maybe 10 years in the game, and comics didn’t even speak to me or address me or acknowledge me. Even if I had a great show, I couldn’t get a hand, a thumbs up or a fist bump or a pat on the back, but I stayed in the game because it’s what I wanted to do.”
Monroe (who goes by Marcus Parker too) has roots on the West and South sides of Chicago, performing on the second episode of They Ready, a collection of six half-hour comedy specials. Haddish says in her intro,
“Flame is one of my favorite comedians. I think that Flame is brave, funny, fiery, inspiring, joyous.”
Monroe jokes about lots of thing; airport screenings, Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos’ intimate pictures and Trump’s female staffers and touches on what it’s like to be a single father of three. She kicks off her set with a joke about Jussie Smollett,
“I never believed the story that he told. I feel sad for whatever he’s going through, but it really cast a shadow of doubt over the [LGBTQ] community.”
Monroe counts Diana Ross and Norman Lear among her influences, recalling a ’75 episode of All in the Family where Archie Bunker saves the life of Beverly LaSalle, not knowing she’s a female impersonator. Monroe said she was a kid at the time and cried in the bathroom because she felt seen. She hopes her Netflix special has the same effect.
“I’m hoping that my story, my 30 minutes, my special touches some kid somewhere.”
Follow Flame on Youtube here.
(Photo, screen grab; via Chicago Tribune)