Title Card - My Name Is Mo’Nique (2023)
"Title Card," My Name Is Mo’Nique, directed by L. Frazier, 2023, (Netflix)

“My Name Is Mo’Nique” sometimes feels less like a comedy special and more like a one woman show, allowing you to laugh with Mo’Nique and cry with her.

Read our Editorial Guidelines regarding how posts are written and rated and our use of affiliate links.

“My Name Is Mo’Nique” sometimes feels less like a comedy special and more like a one-woman show, allowing you to laugh with Mo’Nique and cry with her.

Director(s) L. Frazier
Written By Mo’Nique, Sidney Hicks
Date Released (Netflix) April 4, 2023
Genre(s) Stand Up Comedy
Duration 1 Hour
Content Rating TV-MA
Noted Cast
Herself Mo’Nique

This content contains pertinent spoilers.


Mo’Nique has been a popular, sometimes infamous, figure for quite some time. She was one of the biggest comedians of the 90s and early 2000s, with a hit TV show with over 100 episodes, a talk show that reached over 200 episodes, and an Oscar by the end of the decade. In 2019, as many of us know, Netflix was accused of giving Mo’Nique a lowball offer for a comedy special, not in the millions, as they offered many before her, but only half a million.

Mo'Nique ending her special
“Mo’Nique ending her special,” My Name Is Mo’Nique, directed by L. Frazier, 2023, (Netflix)

Throughout the special, Mo’Nique doesn’t harp on this but tries to get you to understand why she is the way she is. Why she calls her husband, Sidney Hicks, a man she knew since she was in the 10th grade, Daddy. Mo’Nique helps you understand why she is worth far more than that $500,000 she was offered without ever biting the hand that has now paid her a nice piece of change. And damn, does she not only make you laugh as she breaks down what led to the Mo’Nique Hicks we see on stage but make you cry as she makes it clear that not everything can be turned into a joke.

Things To Note

Why Is “My Name Is Mo’Nique” Rated TV-MA

  • Dialog: Because every sentence has a curse word or her saying the N-word
  • Violence: There isn’t much talk about violent acts outside of when she got hit upside the head once
  • Sexual Content: Mention of molestation, talking about consensual sexual acts
  • Miscellaneous: Talks about getting high


Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)Recommended

Notable Performances or Moments

Uncle Tina

Mo'Nique giving props to the LGBTQ+ community
“Mo’Nique giving props to the LGBTQ+ community,” My Name Is Mo’Nique, directed by L. Frazier, 2023, (Netflix)

As shown through Mo’Nique’s role as Mary Lee Johnston in “Precious,” alongside being a Queen of Comedy and a talented actress, she is a storyteller. One who knows how to channel her own, and other people’s, pain and trauma and connect with an audience through what can feel like a shared experience. Now, at times in the special, Mo’Nique sets aside the jokes and gets real with her audience. This is especially true when she is talking about her family and how they influenced her or set an example.

One particular family member, Uncle Tina, leads to the kind of story that can bring you to tears. You can see Mo’Nique crying as she talks about her Uncle Tina being rejected by her mother, the same woman that made Mo’Nique feel like a prize. And as she goes into the wound, you come to learn Mo’Nique, while she doesn’t give herself a label, was similar to her Uncle Tina. She has kept hidden her interest in women, which potentially caused the whole “Open Marriage” that has been associated with Mo’Nique for a while. For between the feeling of losing her grandmother’s love, like her Uncle Tina did, to worrying about losing Sydney, her husband, because he didn’t sign up for someone who enjoyed the fantasy of being with a woman, she was scared.

This story, to me, elevated the special and pushed it to the level of what we often see John Leguizamo perform on stage. Where it isn’t just about setting up the next joke or punch line. That being on stage, with all this attention, is about not only telling your truth but also allowing the truth of others who aren’t so free to feel heard and be seen.


Talking About A Vulnerable Population, Without Feeling Like She Is Making Fun Of Them

It seems nearly all comedians find a part of their act when they find themselves talking about a vulnerable population that is often made fun of. Mo’Nique is no different in the inclusion, but her approach is. As she talks about special needs people, she makes it clear it isn’t one of those “One of my closest friends” type of scenarios.

As she talks about her time in a special education class, speaking about the highs, lows, and comical moments and people, you can tell this is an observation from being amongst them and interacting with them. Not her being an outsider and, like a bully, making jokes about people whose lives she doesn’t have the most basic concept of.

She was in class with them for three grades, saw their teacher try to segregate them and mistreat them based on race, and she was the one who stood up for them since they didn’t know better or were accustomed to this kind of treatment.

On The Fence

Sometimes, The Excessive Cursing Takes Away From The Joke

Mo'Nique cursing as she does throughout the special
“Mo’Nique cursing as she does throughout the special,” My Name Is Mo’Nique, directed by L. Frazier, 2023, (Netflix)

Nearly every sentence that Mo’nique speaks has a curse word. If it isn’t her saying f***, it is the N-word, sometimes in the same sentence. The words lose their impact in terms of the comedy aspect or even punching up what she is saying. At a certain point, you’re just left wondering if cursing is a crutch for her to create a flow as she talks.

[ninja_tables id=”61104″]

Title Card - My Name Is Mo’Nique (2023)
My Name is Mo’Nique (2023) Is A Triumphant Return, Worthy Of One Of The Queens Of Comedy
Mo’Nique, unquestionably, shows she is worth far more than Netflix initially offered her as she delivers a special which goes far beyond expectations and reaches heights that show Mo’Nique, as a comedian, as a performer, and as a storyteller, is only getting better.
Uncle Tina
Talking About A Vulnerable Population, Without Feeling Like She Is Making Fun Of Them
Sometimes, The Excessive Cursing Takes Away From The Joke

Listed Under Categories: ,

Follow, Like and Subscribe


  1. ”My Name is Monique” feels more like an impromptu one woman show than an actual comedy special.

    How do I put this into words… Have you ever been on a bus and witnessed an unreal display of a homeless person or street character regailing an entire busload of strangers with their life story? After a while, the initial amusement wears off and you’re seriously contemplating getting off the bus 9 stops before you even reach your destination, simply for the preservation of your understanding of mental health amongst black people and humanity in general.

    Yeah… comedy shows are suppose to make you laugh. Feel and relate- even to a life experience not exactly your own. Not trigger a memory where you saw a person trying to convince a bunch of strangers her very disturbing, unresolved life trauma is a hilariously beautiful badge of honor she proudly wears for the world to see.

    So all the bizarre behavior Mo’Nique displays is wrapped up in this “well now ya know” hood Ted Talk masquerading as a comedy special.

    It didn’t make me laugh. Honestly it made me wonder why we don’t want more for or ask for more from Mo’Nique. Every third word was the N word or straight up profanity. It was distracting and weak storytelling… again reminiscent of that person on the bus having an episode and taking us all for a truly uncomfortable ride.

    To be sure, it doesn’t make sense to wish failure on a complete stranger or predict a miss. I watched “My Name is Mo’Nique” because I believe everyone deserves to rebound and defy the odds. And who doesn’t want to laugh? Yet I don’t believe that was even the agenda: the audience and our desire to laugh never factored in for Mo’Nique. Which make this entry, presented as a comedy so very strange.

    Here’s the good news: Mo’Nique made a special and her supporters can rejoice.

    The bad news: I feel like Netflix was validated in their initial, low ball assessment of her comedy special. Certainly she was given the platform and payout to boot. And Netflix made a mint off the partnership. But Netflix knew exactly what they were doing by signing on with Mo’Nique. She draws eyes to the platform… but sadly if you promote it well enough, so would a trainwreck.

    I look to comedy for that universal glimmer of “we fall down but we get up” energy. The delivery style Mo’Nique relies on is antiquated and embarrassing. Clearly Mo’Nique has the ability to captivate an audience. But, at this point, I feel Mo’Nique has a very specific audience she’s speaking to. It’s a strange, emotionally crippled audience that romanticizes abuse and hardship in such an ghoulish way, a person who doesn’t walk in Mo’Nique’s exact shoes can’t see the triumph of overcoming those very toxic circumstances.

    Mo’Nique talks a lot but, at its core, she’s not saying anything. Its a raw presentation of trauma, shrieked for 60 minutes. She surely builds herself up… a lot. What comedian doesn’t. But to do this, good commedians know their material needs to be coherent and funny. I tried…watched the special and walked away sad.

    After all this time she should have been funny. Damn Mo’Nique. Just damn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.