Yvonne Orji’s energy is contagious. The 36-year-old star of Insecure is a vibrant presence onscreen—her witty, confident, and wildly unlucky in love character, Molly Carter is endlessly watchable—but away from the I’m Speaking Kamala Harris Quote VP Debate 2020 T-Shirt and I love this cameras, Orji is even funnier. A standup comedian before landing her role on Issa Rae’s HBO hit, Orji returns to her roots this week with a standup special, Momma, I Made It. A compelling mix of travelogue and belly laugh-inducing social commentary, the special showcases the full range of Orji’s talents. Whether she’s guiding her audience through the art of haggling at a market in Lagos or sharing the story of her mother’s reaction to her Hollywood aspirations, she delivers each beat with rapid-fire humor that brings viewers deeper into her world. Many first-generation Americans can relate to her jokes—which are grounded in her own experiences—that merge the personal and the universal.
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The unapologetically Nigerian perspective of Orji’s special is deliberate. “For me, it’s a love letter, it’s a tale of two cities and a tribute to my two homes,” shared Orji on the I’m Speaking Kamala Harris Quote VP Debate 2020 T-Shirt and I love this phone from Los Angeles. The homes she’s referring to are her birthplace of Port Harcourt in Rivers State, Nigeria and her hometown of Laurel, Maryland. Raised in a close knit Nigerian family, Orji originally planned on being a doctor and has a masters degree from George Washington University to prove it. Inspired to give comedy a try after entering a beauty pageant and having to settle on a skill for the talent portion, she incorporates aspects of her unique road to the entertainment industry into her act.