On this day in comedy in December 11, 1967 Comedienne, Actress, Mo’Nique Angela Imes-Jackson was born in Woodlawn, Maryland.
The fourth child of a drug counselor father and engineer mother, Queen Monique Angela Imes-Jackson became an example of perseverance, strength and the ability to excel. Once her brother, Steve, directed her to her destiny by daring Monique to get on stage at an open mic comedy night and from there it was no looking back. Mo’nique put a spin on her name and a twist of being a big female comedian. Pride in her size was her mantra and she put out product and a message to have other plus size women join her crusade. After cutting her teeth in a Baltimore comedy spot she ran, Mo’Nique starred in a movie “Phat Girlz”. She put out a cook book entitled, “Skinny Cooks Can’t Be Trusted”. She parodied a Beyonce’s dance number, “Crazy In Love” with other large females at the 2004 BET Awards and she made big women proud of themselves in the process. Be who you are and love you was the theme and it was long overdue.
Many were taken by surprise by her seemingly rapid ascension. Having already taped “Def Comedy Jam”, her second appearance got an unexpected two-fold jolt. The show’s producers felt her choice of material did not serve her well and decided not to air it. That same night she was plucked up by “Moesha” show co-creator, Ralph Farquhar for the role of Nikki Parker, Countess Vaughn’s mother on “Moesha” and the spin-off “The Parkers”.
“The Parkers” made Mo’Nique a household name and lowered the draw bridge to the Queens of Comedy Tour and concert film, radio (“Mo’Nique in the Afternoon”), more television (“Showtime at the Apollo”, “Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School”, “The Mo’Nique Show”), a documentary (“I Could’ve Been Your Cellmate”) more films (“3 Strikes”, “Domino”, “Soul Plane”, “Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins”) and a gang of awards including SAG, Golden Globe, BAFTA and the coveted Academy Award for her searing performance as an abusive mother in the highly acclaimed motion picture, “Precious”.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton