Jackie Fabulous Is Here To Make You Laugh

Known for her breakout appearance on “America’s Got Talent,” the New York native describes life on the road as a comedian.

Jackie Fabulous (real name Jacqueline J. Champagnie) has made a comedy career of being honest about every aspect of her life. The New York native broke into the mainstream following making the semi-finals of the ultra-popular series “America’s Got Talent.” She was praised for humor that was edgy yet clean enough for broadcast television.

Between her rise as a comedian, several comedy albums and work appearances on shows ranging from “Last Comic Standing” to “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” Not bad for an individual who initially had plans to be a lawyer.

Talking with BET, Jackie Fabulous details her first European tour, her time on “America’s Got Talent,” and her goal of having a television series. You are currently on tour till the end of November. As a stand-up comic, what don’t people understand about all of the work that goes into a tour?

Jackie Fabulous: I’d say it’s the stamina. I low-key kind of wish I’d been this busy when I was in my early thirties, but at this age, I kind of want to wind down. I guess when you’re ready to stop is when it gets a little hot. People underestimate the amount of sleep you need and eating what you’re supposed to eat because you start traveling and you’re in airports and stuff, you want to have a salad, but Burger King is calling you.

Then it’s trying to exercise because you realize as you progress as a comic, performing for 10 minutes versus half an hour requires a whole different set of breathing. So people underestimate the physicality of it all. It may not be a full-blown athlete, but if you’re doing an hour a night for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, that’s a lot to be considered. Congrats on your upcoming show in the UK. Will this be your first time connecting with fans overseas?

Jackie Fabulous: Yes! I just got my first three UK days booked. I’ve wanted to go to Europe for so long. I’m just so excited. These moments mean that people are paying attention to you more than you realize. You can post everything on social media to death but until you get on a big TV show that you know is international, then you realize people are watching your stuff. I’ve overheard people on the train watching comedy videos of friends of mine or me and realized that it’s not just your friends or family in America, it’s the universe. That’s a blessing. Where have you been finding inspiration for bits lately and how has that evolved from when you started?

Jackie Fabulous: When I first started, I was a very single girl. It was all that kind of stuff like ‘where the guys at?’ and sexual liberty. I guess I’ve never been able to really talk about anything unless it happened to me. I realize now the reason why I don’t watch a lot of specials is because I realize I only talk about the things that really either have happened, I want to happen or is happening right now.

I’ll go through a breakup and talk about it that night on stage. I think that helps me in coming up with material that is true to me. I don’t really have to try and be witty. I will just talk about it. I know how to make mundane things and awkward situations  that happen to everyone funny. I’m not really worried about being embarrassed. I’ll talk about farting in a small room with people. Can you recall the story of how you landed on America’s Got Talent and what that ultimately did for your stand-up career?

Jackie Fabulous: There was a friend of mine who worked on the show as a talent recruiter. I remember half-assing it and not caring. I didn’t watch reality TV and had the same attitude many artists did at the time. When I went to the audition, I knew I phoned it in so I didn’t hear back from them.

The next year, I heard more about the show and I realized I was unhappy with the progression of my career in terms of getting work. Things were going slow. I realized that the more TV shows you do, the more credibility you get and hence more work. So I asked my friend again and she had already submitted my tape. I didn’t even have to audition again. I went down there and did the material that I do all the time because I’ve been performing damn near every night my whole career. I was ready and had a good time. That was my first appearance on America’s Got Talent. I had a good set and helped my fan base grow which is primarily females. So that appearance set me off being more known by name. Being famous can become a headache at some point if I ever get there but being known and popular helps you get work. You had a spot on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” earlier this year. That was your third time there.  What do those moments do for you as a stand-up comedian and do you recall the preparation that went into your set?

Jackie Fabulous: If I was a Black woman who did The Tonight Show three times in less than two years 30 years ago, I’d have a castle. It was different back in the day, but for me it still holds the same prestige. A lot of comics and myself included, know it’s a difference now where one TV show does not make your whole career. But for somebody who had these kinds of things on their vision board, this is a big deal to me. I pay attention to those kinds of things when they happen. I realize that’s where personal success comes in.

Make a list of what you want to accomplish and when you do, it makes you more marketable. Every big TV show you’re on makes you more recognizable name-wise. Any TV spot, national, streaming or whatever helps you to work is always a great thing. A comic ain’t really a comic if they’re not always working in some capacity. With that said, do you have an ultimate goal on your vision board that you’d like to reach?

Jackie Fabulous: My own sitcom. That’s always been the dream. I grew up watching nothing but chubby white guys get the hottest women and I’m like how you bag that? But they’ve always had these sitcoms since I was a little girl and I’ve watched all of them with a few Black and white female sitcoms. It’s always been a dude and Black dudes too.

I think I work hard enough that I’m like, hey, give me a chance to bomb and ruin someone else’s career. Give me a chance to get canceled. I want to see what it’s like to lose my job. You got to get the job first. I want a show that I produce, write, act and play a big part in.

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