In her stand-up act and on “The Daily Show,” Dulcé (pronounced “duel-say”) Sloan sometimes says things that rattle people. But she’d like you to know, outrage is not her objective. Case in point: a routine from her 2019 Comedy Central half-hour special, in which she said she hated living in New York City, calling it a “Yankee trash heap.”
Sloan says she was just trying to educate. “It’s not about getting under people’s skin or creating a rise out of people,” she says. “I’m not that kind of comic. I don’t sensationalize. I talk about my experience, and in my experience, the city is trash and should be burned down immediately.”
Sloan started out as an actor in Atlanta before finding her calling as a stand-up comedian in 2009. In the beginning, her material was more observational, more outward facing, but she found her comic voice by looking inward. “A year and a half in when I started talking about myself, that’s when everything kind of changed,” she says. “When you talk about yourself you always have material. You’re not saying what other people are saying because no one else knows your life.”
Success came quickly onstage and on TV. Sloan went full time into stand-up in 2015 and landed her job at “The Daily Show” in 2017. As a comedian, she sees herself as a storyteller about her own life, whether the subject is dating, white women wanting to touch her hair, or where she’s living.
There was a theme in her last tour about not dating broke men, based on her riff from CNN’s New Year’s Eve show in 2021. That upset some viewers. “The response to it was very interesting,” she says, “where it was just a lot of men just borrowing their friends’ phones to be mad at me on Twitter.”
Sloan has had some strange experiences with men and money. She says she’s been approached multiple times by men literally counting cash out in their hands as a come-on. “It happened to me three weeks ago in the Bahamas,” she says. “Some man came up to me counting $11. In American and Bahamian singles. Two forms of currency and still not enough money.”
“I was like, God forbid I pull out all the 20s in my purse,” she says. “Let’s see who’s pulling who, sir.”
Her “Daily Show” role and her stand-up persona are two different variations of herself. They started from the same place, but as she settled in on the show, she decided she needed to play that part bigger. “Sometimes on the show I just feel like, ‘Need somebody to come out and yell at America? All right! Don’t you worry. I gotcha,’ ” she says. “Sometimes that’s how that feels. But for the most part, it’s me.”
The correspondents work with the writers to make sure pieces are set in their own voices. Lately, Sloan says some of the segments, like a Lotto bit where she had some playful back-and-forth with now-departed host Trevor Noah, were a bit more informal, allowing her to interject her own material. “A lot of that has been more of my own writing,” she says. “All of the correspondents have more input now than we used to.”
With Noah now gone, Sloan is still part of a talented group of correspondents that includes Roy Wood Jr., Ronny Chieng, Desi Lydic, and Jordan Klepper. There is speculation about who will sit behind the desk next — for now, the show plans to rotate guest hosts — but it doesn’t concern Sloan. When asked if she’d be interested in hosting, she is noncommittal. “I don’t know,” she says. “I truly don’t. Some stuff is not my business.”
She already has plenty to do. She co-hosts the “Hold Up” podcast with her good friend, comedian Josh Johnson. She has started to produce shows for other comedians, like Shalewa Sharpe’s one-woman production “Don’t Reach In the Bag.” She’s the voice of Honeybee Shaw on the delightful animated series “The Great North.” And she’s working on a new hour of stand-up material to eventually record as a special.
Sloan’s work ethic stretches back to her first days in stand-up, when she heeded her mother’s advice to have multiple streams of income. “I had a jewelry business, and I was doing kids’ birthday parties, and I was acting, I was modeling,” she says. “One year I had like 11 W-2s. So I’ve always had multiple jobs. I never had just one job.”
Ideally, she’d like to do more acting. “That’s the thing that, like, entertainment doesn’t know. I have a theater degree. I’ve done musical theater, all of these things. I’m a very talented person, but the world only knows me as a comic.”
Nick A. Zaino III can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Off Cabot Comedy & Events, Beverly. Jan. 13 at 6:30 and 9 p.m., Jan. 14 at 5:30 and 8 p.m. $25. https://offcabot.org