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3 Jan

Amber Ruffin Is Dismantling Racism With A Smile On

The Amber Ruffin Show has stood the test of time from the dark early days of the pandemic to the slow recalibration to recent normals. With the show now closing out its third season, host Amber Ruffin has adjusted to the pivot.

“Having a live audience means you get quick satisfaction or quick regret the second it leaves your mouth, whether or not a joke was good, Ruffin tells ESSENCE. Starting out in September 2020, with uncertainty still prevalent and a studio empty aside of staff members and camera men, Ruffin’s show has exploded in popularity as full audiences have been let into the studio chairs.

“Whereas in case you don’t have an audience, you may just think that they were all good. You’ll never frigging know. In my heart, they’re all winners. But an audience will snatch a joke out of your heart like that.”

Amber Ruffin Is Dismantling Racism With A Smile On Her Face
THE AMBER RUFFIN SHOW — “November 11, 2022” Episode 304 — Pictured: (l-r) Amber Ruffin, Sisqó — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/PEACOCK)

But with the raucous laughter and constant applause we witnessed during Ruffin’s mid-November taping, there’s no sign of joke snatching occurring here. Ruffin’s brand of informative, socially aware, racially conscious comedy has grow to be wildly popular, partially for its comedic deep-dives on tough political and social issues.

“Our country is at all times attempting to pull some sh*t, so it’s at all times timely,” Ruffin observes about her social media shareable ‘How Did We Get Here?’ segment. The show has grow to be so popular in truth, that the comedienne herself is having fun with a heightened state of celebrity. But as Ruffin tells it, she’s still banking on mixing in.

“When left to my very own devices, I’m the raggedest dude you’ll ever meet,” Ruffin laughs. “I’m exactly a 14-year-old boy. I don’t dress nicely. I’m not putting on makeup. I get my hair simply to where society won’t look twice at me. So numerous times, someone will likely be like, ‘Is that Amber Ruffin?’ after which their friend will likely be like, ‘No.’ Each time that happens, I laugh so hard.”

Ruffin’s personal style is a far cry from her well-appointed skilled look. A Black girl magic twist on the normal suited-up late-night talk show host uniform established because the mid-Twentieth century, Ruffin’s signature show style finds her in perfectly-fit patterned blazers, tailored trousers, jeweled accents, and a crown of natural hair.

“Well, after we began The Amber Ruffin Show, nobody was wearing a suit since it was within the pandemic,” Ruffin says of her signature look. “People were at home just looking like ragamuffins and I used to be like, ‘I’m not doing that.’ And truthfully – sadly – I believed, ‘white men can afford that. I cannot afford to try this.’ I even have to come back correct. I don’t want to decorate like they dress, I need to decorate higher than they dress because I’m coming at this at a deficit because I’m a Black woman in America. So let me just go ahead and dot every I and cross every T after which perhaps my stuff will get to survive its own merit.”

That merit, cultivated through a job as a author on Late Night with Seth Meyers since 2014, has pushed Ruffin into not only her own highly popular late night show but in addition a Recent York Times Bestselling book in 2021, with a continuation on stands now.

You’ll Never Imagine What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism, a comedic collection of stories about racialized and discriminatory encounters her older sister Lacey Lamar has experienced while living in Omaha, Nebraska. Now, its successor The World Record Book of Racist Stories (released November 22, 2022) is expanding the firsthand accounts of racism so absurd you may’t do anything but laugh at it.

Amber Ruffin Is Dismantling Racism With A Smile On Her Face
THE AMBER RUFFIN SHOW — “November 11, 2022” Episode 304 — Pictured: Amber Ruffin — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/PEACOCK)

“We expanded it from just Lacey to our whole family. It’s still a majority [about] Lacey, but we also included racist stories from the complete family. And a few of them are funny, but you already know, Mom and Dad, they
ain’t laughing.”

On top of her newest book, Ruffin co-wrote the Broadway musical rendition of Some Like It Hot, co-produced by Mariah Carey, opening in opening December eleventh at The Shubert Theater in NYC.

In fact, unapologetically calling out racism and putting governmental policy on the forefront of scrutiny doesn’t make Ruffin the most well-liked in every corner of the web. As a “woke” comedian taking up social topics, there’s at all times some commenter waiting within the wings with negativity. But Ruffin says she doesn’t even see it.

“I don’t pay any attention to online anything and I just don’t read it. That’s not for me. Like, people could cuss me up one side and down the opposite. You ain’t never catching me replying to shit. People can hate my guts. That’s high-quality. That’s not my business. That’s their business.”

The Amber Ruffin Show season 3 finale airs on December sixteenth.

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