The ‘Daily Show’ correspondent talks high school theater, lemons and odd jobs ahead of the publication of her new book, ‘Hello, Friends!’
She's a successful stand-up comedian, a Daily Show correspondent and now, an author. But there’s still nothing Dulcé Sloan wants more than to be a Klingon on Star Trek.
“I did get to do a voice of a Klingon on [Star Trek: Lower Decks], so now I'm closer to it than I was,” Sloan, 40, tells PEOPLE. “But it's not me, though. It's not me in the costume. It's not me sitting in makeup at four in the morning where they put peanut butter on my forehead…that's my dream job.”
Sloan, who has served as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show since 2017, and who Variety calls "a comic to watch," reflects on more of her aspirations in a new book, Hello, Friends!, which publishes Feb. 6 from Andscape Books.
“I wanted to call the book, Don't Call It A Memoir, I'm Only 39,” Sloan says. She looks at Hello, Friends! as “a book of stories” that details her origins as a performer, starting in her hometown of Atlanta. Sloan would find her place in high school theater, playing roles like the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella and Diva in a production of ‘80s musical Starmites.
“It was my first big role in high school, and it was the second semester of my senior year, so I was like, after this, we're done. You got to go to college now, baby girl." One of the most memorable parts of her early acting days, Sloan says, was “sucking on lemons in class” in an effort to preserve her voice. Instead, they just ended up drying out her throat.
Sloan’s comedy career took off in 2015 when she was named the winner of the Standup NBC Showcase. She would go on to make her television comedy debut on Conan before joining The Daily Show in 2017, where she appeared in sketches like “9-1-1 for White People Emergencies” and broke down current events with host Trevor Noah.
Hello, Friends! tells of the long road toward becoming a full-time performer. Sloan reflects on being a Black, female comedian in the industry and looks back on the many odd jobs she took in order to build her career. She once spent time “learning way too much” about Minecraft and Harry Potter while working at children's birthday parties, for one.
“If you are going to be in the arts, especially a performer, you are going to need to make money," she says. "Because when you're first starting out, people are going to put you in [opportunities] or exposure and you can't put exposure in a gas tank."
While the book features much of her signature humor, Sloan says it was an emotional writing process. She includes more emotional moments from her life, including "not so great" memories from school.
“It's interesting as a child to know that an adult doesn't like you merely just because of who you are,” Sloan says. “It's a wild thing. It's interesting as a child of color to know that white adults are taking opportunities away from you and mistreating you…then going to my mother and finding out that she had to do the same thing.”
While working on the book, Sloan says that, "I had to find a way to not be mad at 25-year-old me for decisions that I made based on the information that I had and who I was at the time."
“I know there were a lot of decisions that I would've made differently, but to make certain decisions, you have to feel a certain way about yourself and have different goals for yourself or really listen to somebody,” she continues.
In addition to her book, Sloan has been keeping busy. She was recently nominated for a GLAAD Award for “Outstanding Variety or Talk Show Episode” for her Daily Show interview with RuPaul’s Drag Race star Sasha Colby (Sloan was also a guest host on the show in 2022).
Sloan also co-hosts the podcast Hold Up with Daily Show writer Josh Johnson, and runs a lip gloss company with fellow comedian Lace Larrabee. The brand, Giggle Gloss, sells lip gloss with names like "Purse Vodka" and "I'll Show You Crazy" that are inspired by the founders' jokes. The brand is designed so comics have “merch to sell on the road,” and to showcase their personalities as performers.
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As for her Hello, Friends!, Sloan hopes readers get even more out of it than laughs.
“The longest relationship you'll ever have in your life is with yourself,” she says. “So you have to learn how to give yourself grace, see where you want to improve and not beat yourself up.”
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