Nigerian-American comedian Yvonne Orji tells us who steered her towards stand-up comedy: God. Her parents? Not so much.
Her parents’ plan
Dr. Yvonne. This is the name that Yvonne’s foreign parents hoped that their daughter would be called. Yvonne herself also sought after that title too, even earning a Master’s in Public Health and working in Liberia before deciding that the medical field was just not for her. As a result, she had to weigh her sanity (compromised by infamous collegiate organic chemistry) against her parent’s ambitious wishes.
Her journey to become a standup comic
With a little help from a “Miss Nigeria in America” beauty pageant and Christianity, Yvonne proudly says God directed her towards stand-up. But one may think, “wait, there’s nothing funny about God.” Think again. Yvonne finds it “hysterical” that Jesus turned water into wine; unbelievable feats can be funny after all. As for Yvonne’s parents, they are happy to tune into Yvonne’s show Insecure on cable television in Nigeria.
Things turned out a bit differently than planned…
With a little bit of self belief and divine intervention, you may find out that your parents’ wishes for you are different from your own. Yvonne Orji can relay that message for sure, and keep you laughing all the way through!
Questions about comedy to discuss on Ohlelo:
- Did Yvonne make the right decision in not becoming a doctor?
- How hard is it to break into stand-up comedy in 2020?
- What do you think of Yvonne Orji in Insecure?
- Do you think there’s room for God in the realm of stand-up comedy?
- What impact did your parents’ wishes for your future have on you?
- Who are your favourite stand-up comics?
Check out the Stephen Colbert YouTube channel for lots more laughs!