MeMe Simpson

Sat, Sep 14, 2019
7:15 PM 9:45 PM

MeMe Simpson

with Ray Hensley

WRITER, ACTRESS AND STAND-UP COMEDIENNE MELISSA “MEME” SIMPSON BRINGS A CANDID STAGE PRESENCE AND OBSERVATIONS ABOUT EVERYDAY LIFE TO EVERY COMEDY CLUB OR COMEDY TOUR SHE JOINS. GIVEN THE NAME “THE RED ASSASSIN” BY A CLOSE FRIEND, MEME KEEPS AUDIENCES IN STITCHES WITH HER SIGNATURE, MATTER-OF-FACT DELIVERY MATCHED BY PERSPECTIVES ON POLITICS, FAMILY, RELATIONSHIPS, WOMANHOOD, RACE AND IDENTITY.

BORN AND RAISED THE YOUNGEST OF SEVEN SIBLINGS (SIX GIRLS, ONE BOY) ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF CHICAGO, MEME’S SENSE OF HUMOR ALWAYS KEPT HER FROM BEING PUNISHED BY HER PARENTS. HER MOTHER CONSTANTLY ENCOURAGED HER TO CONSIDER MAKING PEOPLE LAUGH FOR A LIVING, BUT IT WOULD TAKE AWHILE BEFORE THE FUNNYWOMAN COULD RECOGNIZE HER GIFT WAS IN MAKING PEOPLE FEEL GOOD THROUGH TELLING JOKES. IN THE MEANTIME, SHE STUDIED HER INFLUENCES - MARTIN LAWRENCE, BERNIE MAC, DAVE CHAPPELLE, WANDA SYKES, D.L. HUGHLEY, CHRIS ROCK AND DAMON WAYANS - CLOSELY.

IN HER LATE TEENS, MEME JOINED THE NATIONAL GUARD: SPENDING SIX YEARS ON ACTIVE DUTY AND ANOTHER TWO YEARS ON-CALL. WHEN SHE RELOCATED FROM CHICAGO TO THE METRO ATLANTA AREA, SHE ENROLLED IN GEORGIA MILITARY COLLEGE AND EARNED AN ASSOCIATE DEGREE IN BUSINESS.

ABOUT MEME SIMPSON

MEME LANDED CORPORATE SALES JOBS: EARNING A SIX-FIGURE SALARY AND PEAKING IN THE TOP 5% OF HER SALES TEAMS. UNFORTUNATELY, THE JOB WASN’T TRULY FULFILLING. ONE DAY, MEME WATCHED A NEWS REPORT ON SOLDIERS FROM HER UNIT BEING KILLED IN BAGHDAD. THAT EYE-OPENING MOMENT FUELED HER TO CONCENTRATE ON CREATING SOMETHING THAT HUMANIZES PEOPLE, THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES, AND THEIR EXPERIENCES THAT MAY BE FOREIGN TO VARIOUS AUDIENCES.

STEPPING OUT ON FAITH LANDED MEME IN NEW YORK CITY FOR A YEAR-LONG STINT AT THE NEW YORK FILM ACADEMY. HER FIRST JOB OUT OF HER PROGRAM WAS AS AN ASSISTANT WRITER ON TYLER PERRY’S MEET THE BROWNS. MEME ALSO DID LIGHT PRODUCTION WORK ON HIP-HOP VIDEOS BEFORE BRIEFLY RETURNING TO NEW YORK.

ALONG THE WAY, MEME RECEIVED A FEW MORE SIGNS THAT MAKING PEOPLE LAUGH WAS HER CALLING. MEET THE BROWNS’ HEAD WRITER ANTHONY HILL TOLD MEME OVER LUNCH TO CONSIDER STAND-UP COMEDY. ANOTHER HEART-TO-HEART TALK WITH HER MOM FOLLOWING THE UNTIMELY DEATH OF A CLOSE RELATIVE PUT THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE FOR MEME; HER MOTHER OVERCAME GRIEF BY THINKING ABOUT HOW FUNNY MEME IS. MEME ENROLLED IN AN 8-WEEK COMEDY COURSE, COMIC STRIP LIVE, IN MANHATTAN, N.Y. AFTER PERFORMING STAND-UP ROUTINES FOR NINE MONTHS, MEME QUIT HER CORPORATE GIG PERMANENTLY AND NEVER LOOKED BACK

BEGINNING IN SEPTEMBER 2012, MEME BEGAN TEARING UP THE COMEDY CLUB CIRCUIT: EARNING RAVE REVIEWS AT SPOTS LIKE THE LAUGH FACTORY, THE COMEDY STORE, THE COMIC STRIP AND THE WORLD FAMOUS APOLLO THEATER. MEME ALSO OPENED FOR OR SHARED STAGES WITH MICHAEL BLACKSON, MAJAH HYPE, MIKE EPPS, D.L. HUGHLEY, GEORGE WALLACE, ROYALE WATKINS, LIL REL HOWERY, AFTER 7 AND DAMON WAYANS. SHE’S TOURED AND WOWED AUDIENCES IN THE UNITED STATES, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, THE BAHAMAS, JAMAICA, BERMUDA, ST. THOMAS AND GRAND TURKS.


Ray Hensley

Born and bred in Indianapolis, IN, Ray is one of the up-and-coming comics to look out for in Indy. While on stage, Ray exudes confidence while seemingly relatable to audience. His collection of work stories and world observations, combined with his high-pitch squeals and theatrics, make great entertainment for a wide variety of audience members. His act can often be compared to a deliciously juicy Thanksgiving Dinner that you just can’t get enough of! Ray has built an impressive list of credentials. He has performed all over the Midwest, became a regular at Joker’s Comedy Club and Wiley's Comedy Joint, has worked with some of the biggest names in comedy, and was a finalist in the World Series of Comedy Competition.