Interview: ‘The Daily Show’ Correspondent Dulcé Sloan Branches Out With Her First Half-Hour Comedy Special

Dulcé Sloan is taking a bite out of the Big Apple, but not in the way you might think. After establishing herself as a correspondent on “The Daily Show,” and former “@midnight” champion, Sloan has been getting rave reviews about her first half-hour comedy special. In which, she makes no bones about her distaste for New York.

Sloan’s been making waves on the comedy circuit for a few years now. Variety and Timeout LA have both hailed her as a comedy hero. Back in 2015, she won the 12th annual “StandUp NBC” comedy showcase. That same year, Just For Laughs unveiled the comic as part of the line-up for its New Faces series.

2017 also proved to be a good year for Sloan, as the Atlanta-born comic was dubbed one of the “10 Comedians You Need to Know” by Rolling Stone. That was also the year that she joined Trevor Noah over at Comedy Central.

Empire State Of Mind

Sloan is a natural storyteller. She takes a comical approach when delivering an authentic thought, which leads to some hilarious revelations. Her new half-hour “Comedy Central Presents” stand-up special, which premiered on the channel on October 25, has been earning her praise. In it, she talks about her move from Los Angeles to New York (a city she wishes she was leavin’ today) and opens up about her reasons for dating Jewish men.

Sloan’s observations have once again stirred up feelings on the great debate about New York. Love it or hate it, it’s been one of the defining moments from her stand-up special. “All I said was that this city is trash. That’s all I said,” Sloan tells The Burn-In over the phone while discussing the overwhelming response that her joke has gotten. “Am I really changing hearts and minds? No.”

Image: Loshak PR

The Burn-In: Let’s backtrack. I’ve been watching your comedy for a while. It’s been about 10 years for you since you started doing stand-up. What was that moment for you when you knew that this was what you were supposed to be doing?

Dulcé Sloan: I didn’t have that moment. Another comic told me that I was a comic and got me to take his stand-up class. He taught me how to write jokes. I had been acting since I was a kid, so I already knew how to be on stage. He said that I was a storyteller and thought I could apply that to stand-up.

TBI: Tell me about landing the gig as a correspondent on “The Daily Show” with Trevor Noah.

DS: Comedy Central asked me to audition. I sent in the tape, and then after the tape, I got a callback. I came to New York from L.A., and I did the audition with Trevor in person. They called me two hours later and said I got the job.

TBI: You’ve got a lot of material to work with these days when it comes to comedy in politics. How do you craft your segments?

DS: The segments that we have are based on what the news of the day is usually. Those are crafted with the writers and Trevor, just trying to figure out what’s the best way for us to explain what’s going on in the [most effective] way possible. Like, there was something I just did with Trump, talking about how he wants to get fired, and I equated it to a guy that I was dating doing things to make me break up with him.

TBI: How does it feel to have a platform where you can get important messages across to the masses through a vehicle like comedy?

DS: I guess I just see it as being a part of the job. I think most of the time it’s just us trying to get the information to people in the most digestible way; and the most digestible way, being stand-up.

TBI: Your new special is hilarious. You only had 30 minutes of material to work with, how did you decide what to include?

DS: I included the stuff that was the most relevant to me, and I included the things that I thought would be really fun to talk about. So, being in New York, being in L.A., and then dating stuff. I think it’s so interesting that people think it’s completely outrageous that I don’t like New York City. People really find the need to just defend New York, and I think it’s so wild. What has this city done for everybody that it’s supposed to be held up to this standard?

TBI: Well, the pizza is good. I’ll give it that.

DS: Oh, what? You figured out how to make bread hot and put sauce on it? This is not a complicated thing to make. It’s dough. How many ingredients are in dough? This is not fine cuisine. This is one of the first things kids learn how to make. It’s kid food. It’s hot bread. Then people [want to talk about] the bagels. Again, it’s hot bread.

TBI: The response from it all has been amazing. What’s the best compliment you’ve received so far?

DS: When people who are actually from New York, go, “You’re right. It does suck.”

TBI: Is there anything ever off-limits for you when it comes to what you’ll talk about in your stand-up?

DS: I talk about what I have strong feelings about, things that affect me, things that have happened to me, or things that I wonder about and I want to get out loud. I talk about whatever I want to talk about. I think the things that are off-limits are things where it’s like—well, this is happening, and I should have a joke about this—I don’t like doing that; because I feel like it didn’t come from a genuine place. I don’t talk about topical stuff. If it’s something that’s topical that I have an opinion about then I’ll talk about it.

TBI: As far as stand-up specials go, what do you want to do next?

DS: I want to get more into film and TV. That’s what I’ve always wanted to do. I’m doing a little acting on this show, but I want to get into it more.

TBI: You’ve got “The Great North” coming up, the animated FOX series with Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally. Tell me about that.

DS: “The Great North” is really good because [I’m doing] voice acting. It’s interesting because when we’re recording it, we’re still acting out what we would be doing if we were on camera, so that’s been really great. My character’s name is Honey Bee. She’s an African-American woman who meets a man online and moves to Alaska to be with his family.

TBI: How different is it doing comedy in front of a live audience compared to working on an animated show?

DS: With animated shows, you get more than one chance at a joke. When you’re filming, you can say okay, that didn’t work, let’s do it again, or okay, let’s try it like this. You get those opportunities to mess around with it. But when you’re on stage, if you’re doing a play, or you’re doing stand-up, you get one time, and that’s it.

Image: Loshak PR

As Sloan moves into 2020, she ponders the idea of a comedy tour. Maybe for the next special, we’ll get her on stage for a full hour.

Published on The Burn-In.