To Stream or Skip: ‘Sommore: Queen Chandelier’ on Netflix, Your Guide to New Rules for Life After Quarantine
The comedian who introduces Sommore on stage in Boca Raton, Florida, informs us that this is her sixth stand-up special (fifth solo). But it is her first premiere under the Netflix banner. And before he starts on stage, he gives us a minute of inspirational speech via voiceover. We’ve all been through it. And now what?
The gist: Sommore loves her brand, as every one of her comedies has mentioned royalties and/or chandeliers in their titles.
The 56-year-old from Trenton, NJ, came into her reign, so to speak, thanks to her participation The Queens of Comedyits spin-off The Original Kings of Comedy which produced her own tour and concert film, which premiered on Showtime in 2001. Most of Sommore’s subsequent solo specials debuted on Showtime, but perhaps the timing is unsurprising that she would jump on Netflix now, just as one of her fellow “Queens,” Mo’Nique, has announced an April date for her own Netflix special.
As for her continuous Chandelier condition (the title of her 2013 tribute), Sommore said that if you can make it and be your best self, then you can shine like a chandelier. For now, she’s been shedding light on life after quarantine, where she’s suggested some new rules and regulations for anyone who wants to wear boots, UGGs, false eyelashes, baby hair, or get plastic surgery.
What comedy specials will it remind you of?: Although Sommore calls herself a true queen of comedy, it’s notable that she dedicates a segment of this set to Mo’Nique, calling her out for an Instagram post in 2021 that inspires her observations on the subject, as well as fellow her. Comedy Queen.
Memorable anecdotes: This post, btw? When Mo’Nique shared a photo of a woman wearing a hair bonnet at the airport in June 2021 and declared that bonnets, pajama pants or bedroom slippers are no longer allowed as clothing for air travel. Sommore has also seen hooded women during her travels and imagines what would happen if one of those women saw Mo’Nique in real life. “This is the movie I want to see.” Why; Because “Mo’Nique ain’t no punk bitch.” Who else could call out both Oprah and Tyler Perry and get away with it?
Sommore’s targets aren’t as high-profile. But she jokes that she’s willing to glare at anyone at the airport who catches her eye, whether they recognize her or not. “I’m invincible at the airport,” she claims. Sommore also gets a huge response from her live audience for a bit about how the Miami airport uses four different types of dogs to sniff out suspected passengers for weed, cocaine, bombs or COVID. Can you guess which one hits Sommore? Can you guess why?
An act outlining why it’s against free stuff is a literal scream.
And she also gets the crowd roaring for her, which concludes a piece about growing old and making the most of your later years with a sly suggestion that plastic surgery is acceptable to keep looking sexy, but only if, at some point, you also trade your sexy voice for that of the late Maya Angelou. You don’t have to imagine how this can happen, as Sommore is more than happy to demonstrate.
Our Acceptance: Of course, the pandemic has forced many of us to confront our own mortality. Or not, as he jokes that Americans are now treating the pandemic like a relationship where both sides have imagined the other. “We don’t know if we are still in the pandemic. Is this over? Or did they just stop talking about it?’
But she had also come to terms with getting older because her father died in early 2020, just before the quarantine began.
She’s grateful to have reconnected with him and patched up their relationship for his later years, but also happy to see trends like #girldad highlight how today’s parents are more open with and to their children’s wants and needs.
Our call: WATCH THIS. Sommore is like Netflix and chill, and not necessarily more so now that it’s on the streaming platform. Her stance on vaccines, or politics in general, is to not try to get too deep in the weeds. In an age where Google can give us all the knowledge we could ever seek, Sommore prefers to gain wisdom. And happily share it.
Sean L. McCarthy works the comedy beat for his own digital newspaper, The Comic’s Comic; before that, for real newspapers. He’s based in New York, but will travel anywhere for the scoop: Ice cream or news. He also tweets @thecomicscomic and podcast half-hour episodes featuring comedians revealing origin stories: Comic’s Comic presents the latest stuff first.