Reality Is Funny
About The Event
Reality Programming Governors Bob Boden and Jill Dickerson, along with their Peer Group Executive Committee, invite members to:
Reality Is Funny
Reality TV represents many dimensions of entertainment. A great reality show can make you gasp with shock and excitement, cry with the intense storytelling, or laugh your butt off. And what could be more valuable in today's turbulent pandemic world than a comedic moment…or two…or fifty?
REALITY IS FUNNY demonstrates how these two worlds intersect with hilarious hosts, winning performances, bizarre situations, and top professionals in front of and behind the camera. Join us for an exciting conversation about the importance of comedy in unscripted programming and how its impact is bigger than ever.
- Loni Love, Award-Winning Comedian, Actress, Author, and Host (Fox's The Real, WeTV's Bridezillas)
- Simon Gibson, Cannonball (USA)
- Gabriel Iglesias, Unleashed (Nickelodeon)
- Zainab Johnson, 100 Humans (Netflix)
- Jamie Kennedy, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment (WB)
- Matt Richards, HQ Trivia
- Dulcé Sloan, The Daily Show (Comedy Central)
Reminder: Peer group events like this one accept registrations on a first-come, first-served basis. If the event reaches capacity, members who register will be placed on the Waiting List. As space opens up, members on the Waiting List may be promoted to a registration up to 24 hours before the event. For more information, check Frequently Asked Questions.
Can't make the event? No problem! This event will be recorded and you can watch on TelevisionAcademy.com the week following the event.
The co-host of the NBC and USA Network's new series CANNONBALL, LA-based comedian Simon Gibson exploded onto the comedy scene after a stand out performance at the 2018 Just For Laughs New Faces showcase in Montreal, touring cities across the country and recently appeared in the Netflix series BREWS BROTHERS. He can currently be seen as one of the leads of the Amazon series INSIDE JOKES, chronicling his journey from backyard open mic comic to the mecca of comedy at JFL Montreal and center stage for the New Faces showcase. He appeared as host for the Kaaboo music/comedy festival as well as NBC's Last Call with Carson Dal". Originally from Portland, Oregon, Simon brings a dynamic combination of high-energy physicality and in-your-face laughs to both stage and screen.
Gabriel Iglesias is one of America's most successful stand-up comedians performing to sold-out concerts around the world. He is also one of the most watched comedians on YouTube with over half a billion views and has over 23 million fans across social media. In 2018, Gabe was included in The Hollywood Reporter's "Top 40 Comedy Players" issue alongside comedy giants Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and Lorne Michaels. The comedian has also had the distinct honor of being one of the few to headline and sell-out Madison Square Garden in New York, Staples Center in Los Angeles and Sydney Opera House in Australia.
Iglesias is the star and executive producer of Mr. Iglesias, the multi-cam, Netflix original comedy series, which is currently streaming season 1 and Part 2 on Netflix with Part 3 set to premiere December 8th. Iglesias plays a good-natured public high school teacher who works at his alma mater. He takes on teaching gifted but misfit kids to not only save them from being "counseled out" by a bully bureaucrat Assistant Principal, but also to help them unlock their full potential.
The actor/comedian will also host Nickelodeon's all-new comedic competition show, Unleashed (10 episodes) premiering Thursday, October 22nd at 7pm (ET/PT). The series brings the most impressive animal acts together to compete on stage in front of a kid jury and celebrity judges Peyton List, Preacher Lawson, and Utkarsh Ambudkar for the title of "Most Entertaining Pet" of the night.
In addition to the Netflix comedy series, Iglesias penned a deal with Netflix to release his next two stand-up comedy specials for the streaming service. The first, titled One Show Fits All, was filmed in front of a sold-out audience at the Toyota Center in Houston and debuted in January 2019. His third special for the streaming service will tape sometime in 2021; both of these specials are follow-ups to his highly successful 2016 special, I'm Sorry For What I Said When I Was Hungry.
Feature film credits include co-starring roles in Magic Mike, Magic Mike XXL and A Haunted House 2. Gabriel's voice has been heard in many animated films, most recently STXfilm's Ugly Dolls. In 2017 Iglesias voiced the role of "Head Clerk" in Pixar's Academy Award nominated animated film Coco. He also voiced "Rufus the Dog" in Sony's Golden Globe nominated animated holiday film The Star and "Cuatro" in Fox 20th Century Film's Academy Award nominated animated film Ferdinand. Gabriel is one of a handful of comedians with a theatrically released stand-up concert comedy film, The Fluffy Movie.
On the small screen, Fluffy's Food Adventures, a non-scripted comedic docu-follow series completed a 3-season run on FUSE TV in 2017. Gabriel was a recurring guest star on the ABC sitcom Cristela. He guest-starred in an episode of ABC's hit comedy Modern Family. Comedy Central aired Iglesias' hit series Stand-Up Revolution for 3 seasons. Comedy Central also aired Gabriel Iglesias: Aloha Fluffy in an unprecedented two-night comedy special to over 15 million viewers. The special was a follow-up to his previous DVD specials, Hot & Fluffy and I'm Not Fat...I'm Fluffy, which have sold millions of copies. In late 2016, Iglesias released his 6th one-hour comedy special, I'm Sorry For What I Said When I Was Hungry on Netflix worldwide. He filmed the special at the Allstate Arena in Chicago to two sold-out shows with a total of 20,000 fans in attendance.
Gabriel Iglesias is the youngest of six children, raised by a single mother in Long Beach, CA. It was during his childhood that he developed a strong sense of humor to deal with the obstacles he faced. In 1997, he set out to hone his comedic skills, and performed stand-up anywhere he could find an audience; including biker bars and hole-in-the-wall joints. Gabriel's stand-up comedy is a mixture of storytelling, parodies, characters and sound effects that bring his personal experiences to life. His unique and animated comedy style has made him popular among fans of all ages.
Zainab Johnson is a stand-up comedian, actress and writer from Harlem, NY. Zainab's comedy is based on her unique point-of-view, which was shaped growing up as one of thirteen siblings in a Muslim family. After getting a degree in math and taking a job as a teacher, she quickly learned that she had a different calling. Zainab can currently be seen hosting Netflix's 100 Humans, a social experiment where 100 individuals take part in interactive experiments exploring sex, happiness, torture and all the other aspects of being human. She can also be seen playing the role of Aleesha on the upcoming Greg Daniels Amazon series UPLOAD, premiering May 1. Zainab is a regular guest on Comedy Central's Lights Out With David Spade, and has made appearances on Late Night with Seth Meyers, BET's Comic View, MTV's Acting Out, Last Comic Standing, and The Melbourne Comedy Festival. She was also selected to be one of Variety's Top 10 Comics To Watch 2019.
Actor, producer, and comedian Jamie Kennedy just wrapped Last Call also starring Jeremy Piven and Taryn Manning. His other recent work includes starring roles in James Gray's sci-fi epic Ad Astra, opposite Brad Pitt, the latest installment of the Tremors film franchise for Universal, as well as Riley's Peak with Jon Voight, and the thriller, Spinning Man, opposite Guy Pearce and Pierce Brosnan. Prior, he appeared in Chris Carter's (The X-files) Amazon drama pilot The After, and NBC's medical dramedy, Heartbeat. He has also voiced multiple characters on the Comedy Central animated series, Legends Of Chamberlain Heights, and portrayed legendary music manager Jerry Heller in the Lifetime movie Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge, & Michel'le. Jamie can also be seen performing his stand up show around the country.
Jamie landed his big break when he was cast in Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio as a punked-out rival to John Leguizamo. His career soon kicked into high gear as he co-starred in his breakthrough performance as Randy Meeks in Wes Craven's Scream and its follow-up Scream 2. Jamie has worked alongside some of the biggest names in Hollywood like Steve Martin in Bowfinger and Greg Kinnear in the Oscar-nominated As Good As It Gets.
In 2002, Kennedy created The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, which became the WB's highest-rated show. Kennedy portrayed a number of wacky characters, but the audience's favorite was Brad Gluckman, the white rapper from Malibu. In 2003, Kennedy brought Brad Gluckman to the hit film, Malibu's Most Wanted. Along with those films mentioned above Jamie has had memorable roles in fan favorites like Three Kings directed by David O. Russell, Enemy of the State directed by Tony Scott, Boiler Room opposite Vin Diesel and over 190 episodes of television under his belt with networks that include CBS, WB, MTV, Comedy Central, Showtime, NBC, Fox, and VH1.
Matt Richards is a trained actor, comedian, and writer that has performed on several thousands of shows all across the country and currently hosts the popular game show app HQ Trivia. You can see Matt on CBS' 2 Broke Girls, Nickelodeon's School of Rock, as well KC Undercover and Bizaardvark for Disney. Matt was selected as a NEW FACE Character 2018 for the prestigious Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal and was a standout in the 2017 CBS diversity Showcase. Matt has written for both seasons of Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party on VH1, as well the past two seasons of Jokers Wild starring Snoop Dogg on TBS. Last year, Matt wrote and performed his original sketches for Complex's new web-series, Group Therapy sponsored by Old Spice. Additionally, Matt has appeared on The Funny Dance Show for E!, MTV's World Star TV, and The Steve Harvey Show.
Dulcé Sloan is one of the sharpest, fastest rising voices in comedy. Bust Magazine calls her "comedy gold" while Indiewire describes her as "a fresh and unique voice in the world of stand-up comedy." She was included in Variety Magazine's prestigious Top 10 Comedians To Watch list, and SLiNK Magazine just crowned her "The New Queen of Comedy." Rolling Stone recently hailed her as one of the 10 Comedians You Need To Know declaring "she speaks and they simply fall in line behind her."
Dulcé has been a correspondent on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah since 2017. Her segments, including "New York Fashion Week: Where Cultural Appropriation Never Goes Out of Style" and "Dumb Solutions to Policing Problems" have garnered millions of views. This November, she will star alongside Malin Akerman, Alec Baldwin, and Bella Thorne in the action-comedy feature film Chick Fight. Additionally, Dulcé launched her podcast That Black Ass Show on Starburns Audio in April 2020. Every Wednesday, Sloan talks to special guests to celebrate some of America's iconic black shows that have and continue to shape the world. From 90's classics like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Martin, to modern shows like Insecure and Atlanta, Sloan does a deep dive into the show's origin, classic moments and fun facts that everyone can enjoy.
In October 2019, Dulcé's Comedy Central Presents stand-up special premiered on Comedy Central. The New York Times included the half hour in their "Best Comedy of 2019" roundup. She will also be seen in the cast of the upcoming animated FOX series The Great North, joining an ensemble of comedy heavyweights including Jenny Slate, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, and Paul Rust. The series, from the creators of FOX's hit animated show Bob's Burgers, will premiere in 2021 and has already been picked up for a second season.
Dulcé has "a voice that doesn't pander or bully but comes at you straight. With a chaser of Joy," according to Ozy.com. She offers a fresh and honest perspective that speaks truth to power and eviscerates the status quo. She can currently be seen in OWN's four-part series Black Women Own the Conversation, in which the world sees black women coming to together to talk about the issues that are important to them. In addition to The Daily Show, she has made multiple appearances as a correspondent on "E! News Daily." She has also been featured on several comedy fan-favorite TV series including Comedy Central's This Week at the Comedy Cellar, TBS' Conan, Amazon Studios' Inside Jokes, TruTV's Comedy Knockout, and MTV's Acting Out. She was also a cast member on the FOX pilot Type-A opposite Eva Longoria and the Amy Poehler project Dumb Prince for NBC. Dulcé is a favorite on the comedy festival circuit, with appearances at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Melbourne Comedy Festival, and the Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver installments of the Just For Laughs Festival. She tours nationally and internationally, performing her signature stand-up to sold out audiences at clubs and theatres across the country.
A real-life journey that takes a person from a latchkey kid of a loving and hardworking mother in Detroit's Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects to a stand-up comedienne/movie star/ bacon loving television personality is not something that happens easily or often, but somehow Loni Love pulled it off with her usual aplomb. Not to say there wasn't a lot of hard work getting there, but when Love puts her mind to something, well, you better move out of the way.
Loni Love is currently a co-host of The Real, the one-hour daily talk show on Fox stations. Most recently, The Real has received a 2019 Daytime Emmy nomination for Best Talk show as well as Loni and her co-hosts receiving the nomination for Best Talk Show Hosts. The nationally syndicated show (with a rebroadcast in primetime on cable network BET) was touted by the New York Post as "fun, funny, involved in life, outrageous by nature, warm and, most of all, real." The show was nominated for four EMMY Awards, including Outstanding Talk Show, and won the EMMY for Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Hosts. The Real also won a 2018 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Talk Series.
As a young person, Loni knew the smartest way to get ahead was to work hard and take scheduled naps. Working hard was an ethic passed down to her by her mother. The naps were Loni's own doing. While in high school, she worked on and flirted with the guys on the General Motors assembly line, discovering a passion for electrical engineering. Her smarts, hard work and determination helped her land a scholarship to Prairie View A&M University in Texas. She took her studies very seriously but was equally as driven in her downtime. While in college, she began dabbling in stand up and brown liquor, loving every minute of captivating an audience with her comedy. When she graduated college, she took an engineering job in California, which worked for both her chosen vocation and her 'side-gig' as a comedienne. She quickly became a regular at the legendary Laugh Factory, working during the day as an engineer and at night doing her comedy. In 2003, she was a finalist on the revived Star Search, and not long after, Loni won the Jury Prize for Best Stand-Up. From there, she was invited to showcase on HBO's U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. At this point, it was time to make a career change, and thankfully for audiences, Loni went with comedy. "I took some time to think about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. At my job, my manager had a massive heart attack. It made me realize that nothing is certain, nothing is for sure, and if I'm going to make a move, I gotta make a move now," Loni told Ebony magazine. In the ten plus years since she began doing comedy full time, Loni has found her niche on The Real ("It's like a younger, intoxicated version of The View" said Jezebel), as well as the recurring guest DJ on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Loni also currently co-hosts the GRACIE Award-winning radio show Café Mocha with rapper YoYo. They've interviewed President Obama and the First Lady as well as superstars like John Legend, Toni Braxton among many others. Café Mocha is the only nationally syndicated show of its kind that was created exclusively BY and FOR women of color. You can catch the show on over 40 stations including SiriusXM Channel 141. Additionally, Loni has guest hosted on Fashion Police and has been a correspondent for Entertainment Tonight and E! Along with her work on television, Loni has appeared in myriad movies including Mother's Day, the successful Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 opposite Kevin James, Soul Plane with Kevin Hart and the Bad Ass franchise with Danny Glover and Danny Trejo. In addition, Loni is the subject of the documentary "Being Loni Love", which traces Loni's life story from her early days as a latchkey daughter growing up in Detroit's Brewster-Douglass housing projects to national stand up comedienne, tv and movie star. This past summer she was the first woman to host the Essence Music Festival. As an Author Loni released for first book "Love Him or Leave Him but Don't Get Stuck with the Tab" in 2013, and by popular demand is dropping her second book "I Tried to Change the Game so You Don't Have to" this summer. This popular stand up comedienne, theatre actor, film star, television host, roving reporter and part time aunt – has no plans to slow down.
This event is presented and hosted
by the Television Academy.