‘It’s All You’: The Daily Show’s Dulcé Sloan On The Vulnerability Of Comedy

Dulce Sloan
Dulcé Sloan performs standup comedy at the start of The World's Big Sleep Out, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in New York. Julius Constantine Motal / Associated Press
Dulce Sloan
Dulcé Sloan performs standup comedy at the start of The World's Big Sleep Out, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in New York. Julius Constantine Motal / Associated Press

‘It’s All You’: The Daily Show’s Dulcé Sloan On The Vulnerability Of Comedy

Some of the biggest names in comedy over the last 15 years got their first taste of fame on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. A regular since 2017, correspondent Dulcé Sloan could be next.

She stopped by Reset to talk about her path to stand-up comedy, her time on the show and the things that make her laugh.

On making her way to comedy

Dulcé Sloan: I’ve been acting and singing since I was like 10, … and then I got to college and I got a theater degree. … I got out of school and a friend of mine worked at a comedy club … and she would let me in for free … and I met comics. A comic by the name of Big Kenny, just when having conversations with him, he was like, ‘You’re funny.’ And I was like, ‘OK, thanks.’ And he’s like, ‘No, you know how to tell a story and you know where the punchline is … like you should you start doing stand-up,’ and I was like, ‘Absolutely not.’ Because stand-up scared me … because I grew up doing theater. So when you were onstage, it wasn’t you and they weren’t your words. You were acting. Stand-up is the exact opposite. It’s all you and they’re all your words.

On transitioning from acting to stand-up

Sloan: Doing theater helped me be able to read an audience. … I’d been doing a show … and sometimes there were 10 people in the crowd on the Thursday and you had to perform like the house was full, which got me accustomed to doing shows in bars … or even in a comedy club where there’s 10 people in the audience. You gotta act like the house is full. … Everything that I did before helped me understand the performance aspect to stand-up better.

On landing the joke

Sloan: My friends have a show called “Congratulations On Your Success” at Uncharted Books here in Chicago. I did the show … and I was just kind of like just doing a stream of consciousness. And I was talking about something and I was like, ‘Hmm, I got to land this plane.’ … You start going on this tangent or this thought or whatever, and then you’re like, ‘Hmm, let’s see if I can land this plane.’ And sometimes you can and it lands very nicely, and sometimes it’s an emergency landing, girl, and there’s foam on the runway and then there’s firefighters at the end of that runway because it did not end well.

On her work on The Daily Show

Sloan: I’ve been acting the whole time because Daily Show is like we’re heightened characters of ourselves, and so for me, it’s acting because I’m a delicate flower and I don’t yell as much as I have to on the show. If you think that’s true, you’re a great person. … On The Daily Show, I feel like I just come out to yell at America, but they needed me to yell at America that day. But it’s acting. It’s going back to acting. I never stopped acting.