Review: Amanda Seales, “I Be Knowin'” on HBO

In the early 2010s, HBO focused on very particular types of Girls: Young, white, privileged, hipster.

By the end of the decade, the not-TV cable network has not only diversified but also grown up, including the Insecure Issa Rae, the 2 Dope Queens Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson, and coming soon, A Black Lady Sketch Show starring Robin Thede. At the center of the Venn diagram for these three shows, you’ll find one Amanda Seales.

Seales has released her first stand-up comedy special, I Be Knowin’.

You likely already know or recognize her, though, for the 37-year-old has enjoyed a variety of roles over the course of her young adulthood. Starting as a teen on Nickelodeon’s My Brother and Me, to 20-year-old slam poet on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, to “VJ Amanda Diva” on MTV2, to one-half of R&B duo Floetry, to stand-up comedian and TV host, from the refined Tiffany on Insecureto the host of live show “Smart, Funny and Black,” which tours college campuses.

Seales certainly be knowin’ her audience. After an intro Insta-story style into her phone as she walks backstage, describing who I Be Knowin’ is and is not for, Seales commands the stage and commands her audience’s attention throughout the hour, with multiple call and responses and a full annotated interpretation of the Black National Anthem. Whereas Roy Wood Jr., jokes about our National Anthem and the racial divisions Colin Kaepernick exposed within it, Seales goes blacker and deeper into the roots of our division.

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Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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