Written by: Melody Charles
Going from assembly-line work to engineering to entertainment wasn’t the most conventional path to follow, but Loni Love used her intellect and observational wit to become an in-demand comedian and actress. Whether you’ve seen her on TruTV Presents: World’s Dumbest, remember her from Star Search or have seen her many appearances in films (Soul Plane and the upcoming Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2) talk shows and sitcoms (Girlfriends, Chelsea Lately, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno), Love has always presented herself as an astute and amiable sister, qualities now on full display as she appears on The Real, a daily daytime talk show now syndicated on Fox after a trial test run and featuring four other co-hosts: Adrienne Ballon, Jeannie Mai, Tamera Mowry-Housley and Tamar Braxton.
Fresh from a field shoot and excited about the official debut, the 43-year-old Detroit native dished with us by phone from Los Angeles about her co-stars, a surprising segment of fans and how The Real is different from every other talk show in the mix.
KNOWSHI- I’ve been a fan since watching you on World’s Dumbest and on Soul Plane, really happy for you all getting picked up for syndication.
LONI LOVE (Loni)- “I’m proud to be a part of this, thank you so much! ”
KNOWSHI- How did the show come about and what was the process in getting it to its Monday debut?
Loni- “Telepictures wanted to put together a show that would hit a younger demographic with women of color as hosts. It started in April 2013 with a seven city test run and 26 episodes. We got picked up in October and just started production last month. We’re also the first to get syndicated for both FOX and BET.”
KNOWSHI- Yay! Did you ladies all know each other before the show was assembled or……
Loni- “Well you can’t just put people together for a show like this to work: we all knew of each other or worked together at one time or another, but once they put us all together, it was magical. We’re a good group of girls who have spirited discussions on the issues and topics important to us. Our production team allows us to bring those to the table and with us being in our 30s up to the 40s, we’re all still growing. Some are going through marriages and have children, some are contentedly single like me, but we all make new discoveries and even if we disagree, we can work things out.”
KNOWSHI- So you’re saying there’s no cattiness, shade-throwing and messy stuff?
Loni- It’s crazy that due to these reality shows out here, people think women can’t get along—-there’s no leader on The Real, we’re all on the same level and yes we disagree, but we don’t need to throw wine and pull weaves, we just work it out.”
KNOWSHI- What’s it been like to work with Tamera, Tamar, Jeannie and Adrienne?
Loni- “What folks don’t know is how hard everybody works. In addition to the show, the ladies do their own projects and still come in at 6am and tape two shows a day for 6 days a week. As for Tamar, she is one of the hardest-working women in the business: you’ve got to remember that when we were first taping last year, she was still taping her own reality show, was pregnant, dropped the baby, did a tour and everything. Never once did she complain about her schedule, and we were cool with each other right from the first day.”
KNOWSHI- That’s so refreshing Loni, wow! What can we expect as an audience when we tune in on Monday?
Loni- “Our target demographic is women from 25-54, but we’ve got women and men—-even big ol’ motorcycle-riding dudes—-coming up to us talking about how much they love and watch the show. We do the girl chat, catch up on what’s happening in the news, have big celebrity guests….just think of it like a girlfriend check-in hour, people need to tune in because we’re all gonna have a good time! (laughs)”
KNOWSHI- I’m setting up the DVR right now, thank you so much Loni. Anything else you want to share with fans of your work and audiences of The Real?
Loni- “I just want to say to the aspiring artists out there that it can happen, you just have to be ready. I was on the road for ten years in comedy clubs and a lot of people don’t want to do the work to even get the opportunity. We all work hard for ourselves and always stay humble, none of us are taking this chance for granted, especially since it offers something so special for women of color.”