Finesse Mitchell Helps The Brothas Out
Comedian and author Finesse Mitchell may be a dating columnist for Essence, and yes, he has a brand new book out entitled, Your Girlfriends Only Know So Much: A Brother's Take on Dating and Mating for Sistas, but fellas don't fret. Mitchell ain't no snitch.. The Saturday Night Live alum is merely educating the fairer sex on things we try to tell them on a daily basis. He's Just Not That Into You this is not. "Experts make things sound bookish,â€ says Mitchell. "I don't think anybody's an expert with relationships because I think people are unpredictable.
In an exclusive interview with KING-MAG.com, Mitchell talks about his new book, writing for Essence, and the state of black comedy.
KING-MAG.com: The basic premise of your new book is to help sistas better understand men, which is a nice way of saying you're snitching.
FINESSE MITCHELL: You always get one or two brothers [saying] "Oh, you telling secrets.â€ You know, that type of thing. In order for me to write the book, I had to ask a woman, "What do you have the most trouble with?â€ And you know how women just give you a million questions. Then you can go back to the dudes and they'll be like, "Make sure you say, â€˜It ain't time to clean up just because I'm watching TV and it ain't something you want to watch. No. It wasn't clean-up time when Law & Order was on, so why is it clean-up time when Sportscenter's on?'â€
So you're like a conduit?
A lot of women that we're involved with don't want to hear anything from the people they're dating.Â They need an outside source before they even start to believe that it might be them.
As a comedian, do you think your advice won't be taken as seriously as so-called experts?
I think what made the column take off so well in Essence is that it has the comedic tone to it.Â You can tell women exactly what you want to tell them, as long as you put some sugar on it.Â As long as it goes down easy. With the book, I took the same approach, except I was able to get a little bit looser with it, because Essence wasn't editing it.
Both your Essence column and the title of your book suggests that your advice is really directed towards black women. Was that intentional?
I really wanted the book to just be for women, period.Â Because, keeping it real, I would say 85 percent or at least 80 percent of my fans that come pay to see me are white. I'm in Grand Rapids right now, with like maybe 3 black people.
So you don't think sisters need a special class or tutorial on how to succeed in relationships?
When you say it's for sisters, it really kind of throws you off, because it's for everybody. Some books, whether it's about self-help, eating right, or religion, or whatever, if it's a black author, it goes under African-American. If it's a white book and they just call it He's Just Not That Into You, it's self-explanatory.
Well, considering the dire straights of black relationships, it's not such a bad thing to have a book by a black man aimed specifically towards black women.
Sometimes black women will say, "Well, what that mean?Â Is there something wrong with us? What's wrong with us?â€ I run into that every now and then, but for everybody that's read it, they've loved it. The people who send me comments, they're all not black women.Â Women in general love to read, more so than men.
Yeah, we're more into our PSPs. But for the sake of curiousity, if a man wanted to check out your book, could he get anything from it?
Men need to get the book simply because, if you out there running game, you want to make sure you ain't telling somebody something I said in Chapter 3. See what the hell I'm saying so you ain't repeating some bullshit that people been saying since '99. Secondly, I feel like the best game, period, is honesty. If I can teach more brothers to be upfront and honest with these women, then [women] can't turn around and say you never told them anything.
For more information on Finesse's book, Your Girlfriends Only Know So Much, and stand up performances, check out his website, finessemitchell.com.