Want to know more about Amanda Seales, the host of NBC’s upcoming comedy talent show Bring the Funny? We’ve got you covered.
Amanda is emceeing the show, while fellow funny people Kenan Thompson, Chrissy Teigen, and Jeff Foxworthy are judging the talent. We’ve rounded up 10 facts about Amanda to help you get to know her better before the premiere.
1. Amanda has a master’s degree from Columbia University.
Amanda attended SUNY Purchase for her undergraduate degree, and then studied African American Studies at Columbia for her master’s degree.
2. She was once a gymnast.
Amanda was reportedly a competitive gymnast for six years when she was younger. She’s posted throwback photos from her time in the sport on social media. In 2017, she wrote that her time as a gymnast is what she’s most proud of aside from stand-up comedy. Amanda says it taught her “discipline, perseverance, and poise.”
3. Amanda was an MTV VJ.
She went by the name “VJ Amanda Diva” and hosted the Sucker Free hip-hop video countdown on MTV2. You might also recognize her from VH1 shows like Best Week Ever. She started hosting the truTV show Greatest Ever in 2016.
4. She’s a musician.
Amanda was once part of the music duo Floetry, and has also released several of her own EPs and mixtapes since 2007, under the name Amanda Diva. Check out her music video for the song “MANCHILD” below.
5. She’s been acting since she was a kid.
Amanda’s first acting gig was in the 1993 movie Cop & 1/2 when she was 12 years old. She also appeared on the Nickelodeon sitcom My Brother and Me, which aired from 1994 to 1995.
More recently, Amanda has played Tiffany DuBois on the HBO series Insecure. She’s spoken out about how the show is positively changing the representation of black women on television.
6. Amanda is a stand-up comedian.
Amanda’s comedy touches on topics relating to race and gender. In 2017, she did a bit about catcalling in her performance on Late Night With Seth Meyers. Last year, she had a stand-up special on HBO called I Be Knowin’.
Amanda has also taken her comedy routine on tour. Her Smart Funny & Black game show currently has several shows scheduled across the country this year.
7. She hosts a podcast.
Amanda’s weekly podcast is called Small Doses, in which she brings her own brand of humor to social issues, pop culture, and everyday life.
8. She created her own web series.
Amanda wrote and starred in two seasons of the series Get Your Life, starting in 2015. She plays herself in the series, which looks at everything from life in New York City and Los Angeles to navigating her career.
8. She’s part of an anti-smoking campaign.
You might recognize Amanda from her TV commercials speaking out against the tobacco industry. It’s part of the Truth campaign. The ads have pointed out how cigarette ads target black communities.
9. Amanda has appeared on CNN.
In 2014, Amanda appeared on a CNN segment to discuss the issue of catcalling, in response to a PSA showing the comments many women receive when they walk down the street. Amanda argued about the topic with Steve Santagati, the author of books on dating and gender.
10. Amanda is the host of Bring the Funny on NBC.
The show, which premieres July 9, is looking for “the next big name in comedy.” Everything from sketch comedy to stand-up is welcome on the show stage, with a $250,000 prize at stake.