– My next guest, she has
won an NAACP Image Award. She has an Oscar for
her unforgettable role as Mary Lee Johnson in Precious. Now she’s making history as
the first African American female comedian to have
a residency in Las Vegas. Please welcome one of the
original queens of comedy, my girl, Mo’nique! (cheering)
(upbeat music) – Hey baby! – Me and this girl go back. – Let me cross so they
don’t see my personals. – To the very beginning. – Yes. – What did I tell you
when I first saw you, Mo? – When you first saw me, it
was at Uptown Comedy Corner. – In Atlanta.
– In Atlanta, Georgia. And I was in the parking
lot with my mother going to my car and it was at the, it was called a guest spot. Steve Harvey came up to me
outside of that comedy club and that’s the times when
you understand the impact. Steve Harvey was a premiere black comedian for black comics. He was our Richard Pryor
for the generation. Yes. – Thank you.
(cheering) – So, when he came up to
me outside of that club and he said, “Young lady, “you’re a millionaire and
you don’t even know it yet.” Well, I never forgot those words. I held onto em and it got me through til I got a phone call one
day from my banker saying, “There’s a million
dollars in this account.” – Yeah, come on Mo.
(cheering) But you’re the first
African American female to have a residency in Vegas. The hell?
(cheering) – You gon’ stop saying what
the hell about my stuff all the time! – But I’ll be tellin’ you ’cause Mo, see y’all don’t know, really man, when she ain’t being a damn activist, it’s something wrong with her. – Only he can say that though, OK? – How did you get the
residency and where is it? – The residency is at the
SLS hotel in Las Vegas. – [Steve] Oh, that’s that new one. – On the strip. And I was doing a comedy club
in Pleasonton, Tommy T’s. And I did this club about six times baby in about six months and I’m like listen, nobody’s gonna show up. I keep coming. He said, “Mo, if you show
up, they gon’ show up.” So then he got this
agreement with the SLS. He said, “How would you
like to come to Vegas?” That’s how Mo’nique became the first black female comedian.
(cheering) At the SLS hotel. – I tell people all the time,
it’s two cities you can go to to find out if you’re really famous. – Come on. – It’s New York City and it’s Vegas ’cause New York City, when
you’re walking down the streets of New York, the
street sweeper is there. The postman, the delivery man is there. – Yes. – The CEO is on the street. The executive secretary is on the street and the Wall Street broker is on the street.
– Everybody. – Everybody’s on the street in New York. If you can walk down
the street in New York for five minutes and don’t
nobody say, “Hey Steve,” you ain’t gotta worry
about it, you ain’t famous. – Let me tell you how famous I am. – Uh oh. – You ready for me?
– Uh oh. – I’m walking down the
street one time in Harlem and a brother says, “Mo,
could you sign my copy “of my movie?” Now it was a bootleg movie, OK? – Yeah.
(laughing) – And he said he’s selling
em for five dollars but with my signature, he could get 20. I signed it for him. That’s how famous I am, baby. – Wait a minute, he was
selling movies for five, but if you put your signature
– He was selling it for five it’ll go for 20.
– but if I put my signature, he said, “Mo, I can get 20.”
– I love the hood. – I said, “Brother, feed your family,” and I signed my signature.
(laughing) That’s how famous I am. – Hey, we got more with
Mo’nique right after this. Don’t go away. (jazzy music)