April 18 2012 12:00 AM

It’s homecoming week for 'America's Sister,' comedian Loni Love


This weekend, Loni Love returns to her home state and to her first love: standup comedy. 

The comedian plays Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Connxtions Comedy Club. She is best known for her role as a recurring panelist on E!’s hit show “Chelsea Lately” and appearances on truTV’s “The Smoking Gun Presents: The World’s Dumbest.” She is often referred to as “America’s Sister” because of her ability to connect with a wide range of audiences.

“In the entertainment industry, everyone should be represented,” Love, 40, said in a phone interview. “And I represent a lot of people. I represent the fat asses, I represent the females, I represent the black people, I represent the people that love bacon. I’m relatable because I don’t talk about just one thing.”

Love’s Connxtions dates may be her first performances in Lansing, but she will not be far from home. The comic grew up in Detroit’s Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects before she moved west to pursue a career in electrical engineering. 

“I started doing comedy in college to make extra money,” Love said. “When I moved to L.A. I went to a comedy club to check it out, and I noticed that there weren’t a lot of women performing that particular night. I thought there should have been more representation of females in the comedy arena.”  

It wasn’t long before Love became a regular in the Los Angeles comedy scene, and what started as what she calls a “means to an end” turned out to be her true calling. 

“One day, there happened to be layoffs at my job, and I told my boss, ‘Save somebody else’s job and lay me off and I’ll try comedy professionally.’ I haven’t looked back since.”

Love found success when her one-hour Comedy Central special “Loni Love: America’s Sister” premiered in 2007. In 2009, she was named one of the “Top 10 Comics to Watch” by both Variety and Comedy Central. 

Love says performing for a Michigan audience is different from doing shows for the celebrity-fixated crowds of Los Angeles. 

“Midwestern people are hardworking people that are family-oriented,” Love said. “They laugh at things that affect their own lives, whereas with L.A audiences, they tend to want to laugh at the stars. Detroit and Lansing is more down home. To me, it’s a better show because they are real people.”

After spending much of her career performing in front of a camera, Love said she’s eager to get in front of a live audience again. 

“Standup is one of the last form of speech or performance that allows you to be yourself,” Love said. 

Loni Love

Connxtions Comedy Club

2900 North East St., Lansing

8 p.m. Thursday, April 19, and 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21


(517) 374-4242