Adele Givens represents Chicago well. She’s intelligent, down to earth, proud, and just a little gangsta.
Oh yeah, and she’s one the funniest stand up comedians in the business. '
That’s right. I didn’t say funniest “black” comedian or “female” comedian. Adele can hold her own with anybody. And the best thing about her is that she’s naturally funny. Even if she wasn’t on stage, she’d be making anybody around her laugh with her outspoken, sometimes raunchy, but always real type of humor.
She’s not the one if you want to see somebody jumping up and down and doing flips to make you laugh. That can be funny too, but Adele is the type of stand up comedian who will sit down on a bar stool, hold that mic and have you laughing for an hour as she talks about relationships, celebrities, and basic common sense.
“I’ve been doing this all my life and one day some people encouraged me to get into a comedy contest,” she told Bean Soup Times. Adele entered that Crown Royal Comedy Competition at the now closed Regal Theater in the heart of black Chicago where 79th street, Stony Island Avenue, and South Chicago Avenue intersect. It’s the busiest intersection in the city. But her first appearance was the first audition of the contest held on 63rd and Lowe. I can’t forget that,” she said when I asked her about her first performance. Either way, since winning that contest, Adele’ has been as busy as that three street intersection ever since.
Adele began working the stand up circuit, often appearing with another Chicago stand out, Bernie Mac. Imagine her and Bernie Mac working a room together. “Bernie and myself did a lot of shows together.”
And she was called a Queen of comedy long before she was bestowed that title with three other talented comedians. She’s appeared on Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam, The All-Stars of Def Comedy Jam, The Bad Girls of Def Comedy Jam and The Oprah Winfrey Show to name a few, but she has lots of accolades for BET Comic View. BET more so than anything helped my career she explained. “Not all black folks have HBO, but everybody had BET,” she said.
Adele also made her acting debut, guest-starring in such sitcoms as "Martin", "Moesha", "The Steve Harvey Show", "The Parkers", a recurring role on "The Tracy Ullman Show", a series regular on the hit UPN sitcom "The Hughley's", to name a few.
Some Chicagoans may recall “The Howard MhGee and comedian Adele Givens Morning Show” on WGCI that debuted not long after her first movie role as "Tricks" in "The Player's Club".
Her fans would love to see her in more films, but the Queen refuses to accept roles that question her integrity. I read a lot of scripts, but most are just not for me,” she said. She says she was offered a role in “Soul Plane”, but she turned it down. She deserves props for that. That would have hurt all of Chicago.
“Sometimes a movie looks good on paper, but doesn’t look good on screen,” she explained. “Soul Plane” didn’t even look good on paper,” she said.
“I’m sensitive about my ^$#. I want something I can watch with my children. I’m from the west side of Chicago and I ate long before and I’ll eat long after Hollywood. I know how to hustle and survive without compromising my principles,” she said. Adele is married with two children.
Before long, HBO recognized her majesty by offering her a chance to do her own HBO half-hour comedy special and television pilot "The Adele Givens Show". She also served as co-host of the Source Magazine Awards pre-show on UPN. Lately, comedian Adele Givens has been wowing audiences everywhere on the recent and very successful Queens of Comedy Tour (13 consecutive sold out dates).
She doesn’t like the fact that comedy is so male dominated, but she;s never let that blemish her shine. “It’s a male dominated world, so I wasn’t surprised, but I don’t have a lot of issues because I put myself on their level. I’m aggressive. I was a tomboy and had lots of male friends,” she said. “I generate respect. I don’t get a lot of stress from it, but I don’t like it.”
Adele Givens won two awards—Funniest Female Stand up on DVD, Funniest Female in a TV Series—this year from Bean Soup Times. “I really appreciate the awards. It’s always good to get love from Chicago and I thank you,” said Adele. You’re welcome sister.
Along with male dominance, there is still racism in Hollywood, she explained. “We don’t like to bring up the race issue, but it’s real. We don’t like talking about it because we lack the courage,” she said.
People ask my why am I hating on Vivica Fox. It’s not that I’m hating, I’ve met Vivica and she’s good people. She’s down to earth and she didn’t seem like the kind of person who’d trip like she has. I know I am a trip. I ain’t no miss know it all, but I lay it out there,” she said. “Some of us are victims of self hate.”
Adele takes responsibility for her influence and seems to love to encourage others to pursue their dreams. “I encourage people to go with the flow of life. Your odds of survival are better when you do. You can’t go upstream if the water is going downstream and learn from your mistakes. I apologize, (Toure) you were expecting to interview a comedian and I’m all serious. I’m a motivational speaker.”
hat’s quite alright Queen. You gave my readers and me what we need to hear. That’s what being a little gangsta is all about.