How Amanda Seales Uses Her "Superpower" to Get People Laughing and Thinking Differently

As part of E!’s Backstage Pass, comedian Amanda Seales shared the secrets behind her Black Outside Again tour and celebrated the success of her Smart, Funny and Black shows.

By Mike Vulpo Sep 26, 2022 1:00 PMTags
Watch: How Comedian Amanda Seales Tackles Hot Topics

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After COVID-19 put a pause on live entertainment, your favorite artists are ready to hit the road and entertain audiences safely with brand-new tours and experiences. And regardless of where you are, we're offering an all-access ticket to every must-see concert of the year. Welcome to E!'s Backstage Pass.

Comedian Amanda Seales isn't afraid to go there.

As in, any number of topics like politics, Black history, voting and other issues that others in her field might shy away from.

"Every comic has their own style," Amanda, who is hitting the road this fall with her Black Outside Again and Smart, Funny and Black tours, told E! News in an exclusive interview. "The way my comedy brain works is that I can look at things that are going on in the zeitgeist that some people may feel like are too hot topic and maybe too touchy and find a way to make it palatable to at least get people thinking differently."

Musicians Performing Live on Stage

According to Amanda, it's a "superpower" that she has and uses for good—having spent the past six years celebrating Black culture with her Smart, Funny and Black run.

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Described by the 41-year-old as a cross between an HBCU homecoming, a revival and family reunion, the experience feels like a game show with a live band, singalongs and audience participation.

Her solo Black Outside Again tour is also getting the collaborative treatment. Instead of having opening and closing acts, Amanda is inviting community organizers in each city to discuss their work. "That was really just an idea that came to mind so that I can continue to be a bridge to creating change using my platform," Amanda explained. "It's been really great just to see folks really speak ardently and earnestly and passionately about the work they're doing to an audience that is there because they respect the work I do." 

While Amanda wants to deliver an unforgettable experience for every audience member at every show, she also hopes to hear one accolade that is no laughing matter.

"The best compliment you can receive is, ‘I needed that,'" Amanda shared. "There are a million reasons why but it feels so good when you know that you're doing this thing that makes you feel good also made people feel good enough to keep going."

And while laughs are always worth the price of admission, the lessons that come out of an Amanda show may be priceless. 

"I hope that people walk away feeling revitalized, feeling revived, feeling full," she continued. "I hope they learned something at the same time that they laughed. Bringing joy to folks and doing it through intellectualism and doing it through something that has actual substance really means a lot to me."

Keep scrolling for a behind-the-scenes look at Amanda's tours. And find out when she's coming to your city by clicking here.

Welcome to the Show

Since 2016, Amanda Seales has been executing her Smart, Funny and Black tour for fans across the country. "You're always gonna get a different version," she teased. "It's always a new show. That keeps it interesting."

Trust the Experts

So what can fans expect? "We always have two Black experts that are funny folks from TV, film or comedy and they compete with games that I've created that test their knowledge of Black culture, Black history and the Black experience," Amanda shared. "Throughout the night, we break into song, we do improv and it's all in the name of celebrating Black culture in a beautiful, communal space."

Dream Production

While Amanda said there were plenty of female comedians to look up to when she was growing up, she believes her show is something that's truly original. "I purposely make sure to look around and see if there's anything like this," she said. "It really is a very unique space in the fact that we welcome everyone." 

Come Together

Although every audience has different nuances, Amanda has learned that the people who see her show are more similar than different. "I think the biggest unifying factor is really that people genuinely want to see change for the good and want to see a general opportunity for people in the world to be able to live freely and with equality," she explained. "That is the foundation of my ethics. And no matter where I go in this nation, the people that come to my show genuinely want that and want to be able to laugh while they continue to work towards that." 

True to Amanda

Amanda remembers the peers who told her to focus mainly on talking about pop culture and celebrity. But after seeing the 2013 movie 12 Years a Slave, Amanda said that she needed to use her voice for other topics. "When I came out of the theater, I remember saying to myself, ‘I'm gonna be as Black as I want to be and if I can't be in certain spaces because of that, then that's not the space I want to be in any way,'" she said. "I just live by that ethos." 

She's Back

After being unable to perform in theatre for nearly two and a half years because of COVID-19, Amanda is so grateful to have a live audience again. "When you're on that stage and you hear the laughter, you also feel it," she said. "You feel people's joy in an actual tangible way." 

Need more backstage access? The LadyGang co-hosts spill details behind their Lady Secrets tour. Plus, here's how Tom Sandoval and the MOST Extras became music's must-see cover band.

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