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“The LGBTQ crowd, they don’t suffer fools,” says Dulcé Sloan. “You’re not getting a sympathy laugh. They’re not laughing for the sake of laughing. Other crowds, it’ll be like, they’re trying, and they’ll chuckle a little bit.”
Before setting out for Hollywood, Sloan honed her stand-up craft at Hideaway, a gar bar in Atlanta. “I know it helped me become a better comic,” she continues, ticking off a few things she learned from the experience. “You can’t stumble through, you can’t play around. You can have fun, but don’t get up and be like, ‘Well, uh, um…’ They won’t have it. You cannot play around with them. They came to be entertained. You better get on the stage and present.”
In recent years, the 36-year-old has become a nationally known comic with increasing work on television and in film. Her career really took off in the fall of 2017, when she signed on as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. “It’s a very interesting experience,” she says. “Sometimes you are just working, trying to find another story to do. Other days, you come into the office, and you don’t think you have anything, but you get an email or a text… And then, within two hours, I’m shooting a sketch, and I’m on the show that night. It’s a very fast-paced environment.”
Ultimately, though, that work’s got nothing on stand-up. “I just really miss that interaction with the crowd, and the feeling, the excitement, that you get from the crowd.” This weekend, Sloan will get her stand-up fix while sharing the stage with several of the funniest females in the business, including Sasheer Zamata, Jen Kirkman, Catherine Cohen, and Margaret Cho.
“I’ve worked with Margaret Cho before — she’s amazing!” says Sloan. “As a kid, I remember she had a special on HBO. She’s the first standup comic I ever saw in my entire life.”
Dulcé Sloan performs Sunday, March 8, at 8 p.m., at RIOT! An International Women’s Day Comedy Event at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $29 to $69. Sloan will return for a headlining show Saturday, May, at 7:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $25. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
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