Comedian and Insecure star, Yvonne Orji, offered a glimpse into her life in her new comedy special Momma, I Made It! The special debuted on HBO Max on June 6, 2020, and was filmed in The Howard Theater in Washington D.C. Orji felt a connection to the historic venue since her mother worked as a nurse at Howard University Hospital for more than 20 years. Orji’s stand-up material recounted her life, including growing up in Laurel, Maryland, as a Nigerian-American.
It was refreshing to see Orji outside of her role as “Molly” and in her home country of Nigeria. The televised special featured scenes from Orji’s recent trip to Lagos. She was shown interacting with friends, family, and citizens as well as visiting a marketplace like those at which she developed a love for “haggling.” Each scene often coincided with her comedic tales, including making friends in elementary school and her dating life.
At 36 years old, Orji’s performance put a humorous spin on the efforts of modern-day dating. A particularly relatable aspect was determining if someone is really single amid the complicated status of relationships. Simply asking the question “Are you single?” could be met with an answer as clear as “I got somebody at home who cares about me,” as Orji was once so eloquently told, or an equally ambiguous “Define single.” From having to pay for a date to making “foodie calls,” Orji’s wit is bound to hit home with viewers in one way or another.
The familiarity of Orji’s new special makes it a must-see. From African braiding to getting two degrees that she is “not using” to her reluctance to enroll in Autopay, Momma I Made It! is about many of us. It is infused with her African culture and its intersectionality with her American experiences. The anecdotes about her loving parents, spiritual undertones, and overall quest to just be her best self (when it currently does not feel safe to be) is just what we needed from Yvonne Orji.
Stream Yvonne Orji: Momma, I Made It! on HBO Max. And catch Yvonne Orji again tonight in a new episode of Insecure.