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Gina Yashere

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Gina Yashere
Yashere at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2018
Birth nameGina Obedapo Iyashere
BornLondon, England
  • Stand-up
  • television
  • movies
Years active1996–present
  • Pop culture
  • race
  • stereotypes
  • current events

Gina Obedapo Iyashere is a British comedian who has made many appearances on British and American television.

Early life[change | change source]

Yashere was born and raised in London, to Nigerian parents.[1] Before becoming a comedian, she worked as a lift maintenance technician and engineer (all of which she mentions in her stand-up routine).[2][3]

She uses the surname "Yashere" due to encountering common mispronunciation of her original surname.[4][5][6]

Career[change | change source]

Yashere was a finalist in the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year competition in 1996. She has appeared in a number of television programmes, including in the comedy series The Lenny Henry Show, where she played Tanya and Mrs Omokorede, the pushy Mum. She voiced Keisha on the animated series Bromwell High. In 2005, she appeared in the reality television series Comic Relief does Fame Academy, in aid of Comic Relief, and she co-hosted the 2006 and 2007 MOBO Awards alongside 2Baba and Coolio. She has made numerous appearances on Mock the Week, and appears on the CBBC show Gina's Laughing Gear.

In 2007, Yashere was featured on the reality show Last Comic Standing, auditioning in Sydney. She was among the ten finalists, but on 1 August 2007, she and Dante were the first two finalists eliminated.

In 2008, she became the first Briton to perform on Def Comedy Jam. On 3 September 2009, she appeared on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien and performed a stand-up comedy routine. On 24 December, she appeared on Live at the Apollo. She appeared twice on the short-lived primetime show The Jay Leno Show: on 21 October 2009, a video of Yashere showed her giving free fortune-telling readings to passers-by, and on 25 November 2009, she operated a walk-in psychic booth. Since 2010, she has appeared semi-regularly on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, in a sketch comedy series called Madame Yashere: The Surly Psychic. In the sketches, she continues to give fake psychic readings to unsuspecting people on the street.

In 2010, Yashere appeared as Flo in several episodes of the ITV drama Married Single Other.[7] In April 2010, Yashere's one-hour comedy special, Skinny B*tch, premiered on Showtime, a US cable channel. She appeared on Watch TV show Scream If You Know the Answer with contestant Emily Green from Portsmouth. She helped Emily win the show with a prize fund of £2,000. In 2013, Yashere appeared in an advert for Tesco Mobile. In 2015, Yashere was featured as a selected comic on Gotham Comedy Live, which airs on AXS TV (season 4-Judah Friedlander). On 8 January 2016, she appeared on The Nasty Show with Artie Lange, which aired on Showtime.

Starting on 16 March 2017, Yashere became the newest British Correspondent for The Daily Show.[8]

In September 2019, Yashere appears in a supporting role on the 2019 Chuck Lorre CBS sitcom, Bob Hearts Abishola, which Lorre created with Yashere. Yashere writes for the show and plays Folake Olowofoyeku's character Abishola's best friend, Kemi.[9] Bob Hearts Abishola is the first American sitcom to feature a Nigerian family.[10][11]

Personal life[change | change source]

Yashere is a lesbian.[12] She currently lives in North Hollywood, California, with her partner.[13][14][15][16][17]

Filmography[change | change source]

Below is an incomplete filmography:

Movie[change | change source]

Year Title Role Notes
2001 Kiss Kiss (Bang Bang) Polythene Pam
Mr In-Between Dancing Woman
2008 The Time of the End The Messiah Short film
2016 The Comedian's Guide to Survival Herself
2018 Early Man Gravelle Voice

Television[change | change source]

Year Title Role Notes
1996–2000 Blouse and Skirt Herself 21 episodes
1999 The Richard Blackwood Show Writer
2000 Lenny Henry in Pieces
2005–2015 The Wright Stuff Herself / Guest Panelist 4 episodes
2005 The Crouches Mrs. Ubakema Episode: "No Place Like Home"
Bromwell High Keisha Marie (voice) 13 episodes
2008 Brits Abroad: Gina's Got the Ticket Host TV movie
Def Comedy Jam Writer Episode: "Episode #8.1"
Gina Yashere: Skinny B*tch Herself Stand-up special, Showtime
2009 Just for Laughs Writer Episode: "Martin Short"
Live at the Apollo Herself Episode: "Episode #5.5"
2010 Married Single Other Flo 4 episodes
1st Amendment Stand Up Writer Episode: "Darren Carter/Gina Yashere/Damon Williams"
2013–14 Gotham Comedy Live Herself 2 episodes
2014 Gina Yashere: Laughing To America Herself Stand-up special, Starz
Comics Unleashed Herself 2 episodes
2015–2017 @midnight Herself 5 episodes; representing the United Kingdom
2015 The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore Herself / Panelist 2 episodes
Just for Laughs: All-Access Herself Episode: "Episode #3.9"
The Nasty Show Hosted by Artie Lange Herself
2016 Sir Patrick Stewart: A Knight of Comedy Herself
Go 8 Bit Herself Episode: "Episode #1.2"
Debate Wars Herself Episode: "Babies Vs. Old People"
Black Is the New Black Herself
Live at the Apollo Herself / Host Episode: "Episode #12.3"
2017–18 The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Commentator 4 episodes
2017 Crashing Gina Episode: "Artie Lange"
Celebrity Chase Contestant Episode: "Episode #7.7"
What's Your F@#King Deal?! Herself Episode: "Dante Nero, Gina Yashere and Eddie Pepitone"
2018 The Standups with Gina Yashere Herself Stand-up special, Netflix
West:Word Herself Episode: "Vanishing Point"
2019–present Bob Hearts Abishola Kemi 38 episodes; Also co-creator, executive producer and writer
2021–present The Barbarian and the Troll Axe 12 episodes

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Gina Yashere – BIOGRAPHY". ginayashere.com. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  2. "Comedy lovers – you'll want to pull over for Gina Yashere". Q. 4 December 2015.
  3. Williams, Ben (11 July 2017). "Heard the one about the standup who built lift shafts? Comedians on their previous careers". The Guardian.
  4. Maxwell, Dominic (27 May 2008). "Gina Yashere at Fairfield Halls, Croydon". The Times. London. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
  5. "Gina Yashere". Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. at The New York Times
  6. Arthur, Tim. Interview Archived 2012-10-18 at the Wayback Machine at Time Out London, 28 May 2008.
  7. Married Single Other Archived 23 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine at ITV.com
  8. Mahdawi, Arwa (11 June 2017). "The Daily Show's Gina Yashere: 'In England, I'd still be the token black face on Mock the Week'". The Guardian.
  9. Framke, Caroline (23 September 2019). "TV Review: 'Bob Hearts Abishola' From Chuck Lorre". Variety.
  10. Udodiong, Inemesit (17 May 2019). "Folake Olowofoyeku: Nigerian actress plays lead role in new CBS show – here's why this is such a big deal". Pulse Nigeria.
  11. Lorre, Chuck; Higgins, Al; Yashere, Gina; Gardell, Billy; Olowofoyeku, Folake; Frazier, Kevin (12 September 2019). "Bob Hearts Abishola – Creating a Sitcom About Immigrants" (Video interview). Paley Center for Media.
  12. Artavia, David (24 July 2019). "Gina Yashere Is Black, British, Gay and Very Funny". The Advocate (LGBT magazine).
  13. Leijon, Erik. "Colon comedy" Archived 2011-07-14 at the Wayback Machine, Montreal Mirror, Vol. 25 No. 5, 16–22 July 2009.
  14. Pool, Hannah. "Question time", The Guardian, 15 May 2008.
  15. Freak, Dave (17 September 2010). "Comedy: Comic Gina Yashere on why she moved to America". Birmingham Mail. Archived from the original on 23 December 2015.
  16. "Loose Ends", BBC Radio 4, October 2013.
  17. Lester, Charly (21 May 2014). "The Dating Interview – Gina Yashere, Comedian – Guardian Soulmates Blog". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014.

Other websites[change | change source]