Comedian-actor Mo'Nique Hicks on stage of new comedy special. Photo credit: Courtesy of Netflix

After legal battle with Netflix, Comedian Mo’Nique rises like a Phoenix in fiery, funny comedy special

4 mins read

For years, comedian Mo’Nique fought for parity in Hollywood. The battles were high-priced. Now she has some reprieve, and is glowing in her recent triumphs.

Hey my sweet babies, Mo’Nique’s highly anticipated Netflix Comedy Special, “My Name Is Mo’Nique,” is fiyah.  The Queen Of Comedy is back with another brilliantly crafted, funny stand up performance.

Everybody knows, I love Mo’Nique, cause she’s always got receipts. For those of you who have selective amnesia, in 2019, Mo’Nique sued Netflix for racial and gender bias. Some of you haters felt that she should have just “let it go” and move on. Welp, you were wrong. As the old saying goes, “winners never quit, and quitters never win.” 

Boldly and without apology, she stood her ground.  Three years later, in June 2022, the streaming giant kissed and made up with her, as they ought to, with an out-of-court settlement. While the amount was never disclosed because usually in settlements, some sort of nondisclosure agreement is standard, I have a sneaking suspicion that the bag was big. 

One short month later in July 2022, BAM!, Mo announced that she would be shooting her first Netflix comedy special. Now that was a twofer on steroids.  On hearing the news, I had to give my girl a shout out on TikTok. This win was a long time coming. Oh yes, the naysayers and the blockers got checked and had to put some respect on her name. Her victory made legends like Fanny Lou Hamer, Eartha Kitt, Hattie McDaniel and all the Black women and girls around the world proud. This is a full circle moment, and Mo’Nique deserves this.

Photo Credit: Hicks Media

Now let’s get into it.  Hold on, calm down, there will be no spoiler alerts here. I will never spill the hot Lipton tea about the details of Mo’s special. Y’all gotta get that Netflix subscription poppin’ and watch on Tuesday, April 4. Well, now that she’s back, you can all stop boycotting. However, I will share some of the hilarious highlights.

Comedian Correy Bell, who goes by Correy B, opened up for her. Let me tell y’all, that sista is clucking funny. She walked out on stage blinged out with an outrageously gorgeous look from head-to-toe and killed it. I saw Correy B and Mo in an interview together promoting the comedy special. In their discussions, she recounted how she stalked Mo’Nique on Twitter a couple of years ago. Dreaming out loud, Correy B mentioned that she would love the opportunity to open up for her. When Mo got wind of it, she made it happen. Ever since, they’ve been rocking out together.

Time and time again, I have heard, “Mo is a real one.” Extending her platform to Correy B was such a beautiful example of the kind of person Mo’Nique is. When I saw Correy B share that story about Mo’s generosity, it wasn’t a surprise. 

Years ago, I met Mo’Nique for the first time shortly after the movie, “Precious,” came out. It was behind the scenes when I was a guest on the Dr. Oz Show. She came down in her robe before her segment and personally met all of us. In each warm greeting, she gave us the biggest hug and words of encouragement. Even when her security guy informed her that she had to leave, she stayed a while longer and continued to converse with us for what seemed like an eternity. So much so, there were women in tears.

⚈⚈⚈⚈ Phoenix Rising

Now let’s get to the show. After Correy B pumped up the audience with anticipation, Mo’Nique walked out on that stage and everybody jumped to their feet with a loud applause. Reverberating through the crowd’s  uncontrollable, deafening roar was the chant, “Mo’Nique! MoNi’que! Mo’Nique! Mo’Nique!” The energy was like reconnecting with a best friend you hadn’t seen in years. Pure joy.  Mo’Nique’s response showed how she was profoundly thankful. Added to the grandeur was her hair, makeup, dress…flawless. 

From beginning to end, Mo’Nique did not disappoint.  She told jokes. She told stories that landed on jokes. She shared pain and pleasure, but still kept it cute.  

During her set, she even did an engaging call-and-response with the audience if they blurted something out. No heckling, just playful banter back-and-forth that made the special, special. But honty, when I tell you that there is a part of her show where she spills the tea-eee-eee. She did a slow build up and then dropped an exclusive. So sizzling was her tea, my mouth fell open. After she spilled, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor with a crane. Mo’Nique shared some thangs that we never heard her say about herself. Neva eva.

(L) Correy B served all the glam as Mo’Nique’s opening act for her comedy special, “My name is Mo’Nique!” (R) Lisa Durden interviews comedian-actor Mo’Nique during meet-and-greet after filming her comedy special in Atlanta. Photo credit: Lisa Durden.

Calling this comedy special, “My Name Is Mo’Nique,” is very befitting, because it was like we were being introduced to all of her for the very first time. I felt the freedom envelop her body with every word. It was infectious. Her comedy special is giving laugh-out-loud funny ensconced in a stellar performance. Bravo Mo, Bravo!

The special was shot on October 29, 2022, at Georgia State University’s Rialto Center For The Arts. It was justly right for Mo’Nique to perform in Atlanta, as the city is known for its mythological ties to the Greecian Phoenix who rose from ashes. Now, she is glowing in another chapter of her career. In turn, the layout of the venue complimented her mood. It was magnificent. Plus, the treatment of Black media professionals like myself was VIP-style, thanks to her biggest supporter and life partner, Sidney Hicks, who is also her manager. Rolling up to the venue, when I saw Mo’Nique’s name in lights on the marquee and the long line of her fans wrapped around the corner, I said “YAAAAASSS Mo, YAAAASSS!”

Afterwards, her meet-and-greet matched the vibrant, warm energy she is known to exhibit. Like that day in the green room so many years ago, she welcomed the press and special guests with open arms…all the way down to the last photo request and chat.  

The special is directed by L. Frazier and executive produced by Mo’Nique and Hicks. In my Tina Turner voice, the show is simply the best

Lisa Durden, is a TV personality, social justice journalist, content creator and multi-hyphenate media maker.

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