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The rise of Amber Ruffin: From local theater actor to having her own talk show

Ruffin was hired as the writer by Seth Meyers for his show in 2014. She made history by becoming the first Black female writer to work on a late night show
Amber Ruffin (Getty Images)
Amber Ruffin (Getty Images)

Those of you who have followed ‘Late Night With Seth Meyers’ would be familiar with Amber Ruffin, the talent behind the sharp writing of the show. The American comedian, writer and actress who had been a part of the ‘Late Night With Seth Meyers’ since its inception, is now ready with her own show. Despite the ongoing pandemic due to the novel coronavirus, Ruffin is going ahead and producing her own talk series called ‘The Amber Ruffin Show’, which premiered on NBC Universal’s new streaming service Peacock on September 25. Even though it isn’t surprising to see an ever-charismatic Ruffin have a brand new late-night show, her journey to fame is quite an inspirational one. 

Before she became a prominent part of Meyers's show, Ruffin was focusing on improv and theatre. She first began performing in local theatre productions and improv in 2001 in Omaha, where she was born. She pursued studies in improv at the iO Theater in Central Chicago. After gaining a few years of experience in acting and improv, she then moved to Amsterdam with the improv comedy troupe called  Boom Chicago Amsterdam, to work as a writer and performer. 

Amber Ruffin (Getty Images)

It was her performance at ‘The Second City’ in Denver and Chicago after her return from Amsterdam that changed her career. After meeting with Jenny Hagel, her fellow writer for the ‘Late Night Seth Meyers’, Ruffin moved to Los Angeles in 2011. She was later a part of the YouTube comedy group ‘RobotDown’ and even appeared on one episode of ‘Key & Peele’. 

Ruffin was hired as a writer by Meyers for his show in 2014. She made history by becoming the first Black female writer to work on a late night show. Apart from writing for the late night series, she started appearing on various segments within the show and went on to become a prominent part of the same. Meyers even interviewed Ruffin as a guest on the 1000th episode of the show. She has featured in recurring segments such as ‘Amber Says What?’, ‘Amber's Minute of Fury’, ‘Jokes Seth Can't Tell’ and ‘Point, Counterpoint’. Meanwhile, Ruffin’s writing credits also include Comedy Central shows ‘Detroiters’ and ‘Drunk History’. 

This talk series isn’t the first show developed by Ruffin. In 2017, she created a single-camera comedy show called ‘Going Dutch’, but the series was never ordered. While she was nominated for the Writers Guild of America award in the category Comedy/Variety Series in 2017, she hosted the same event in the following year. In 2019, a pilot for her single-camera comedy series ‘Village Gazette’ was ordered by NBC. 

Ruffin’s journey in the realm of entertainment is incredible and she couldn’t have been prouder to launch her own show. However, in an interview with Vulture, she revealed that she’s going to miss the audience as her show will be recorded from an empty room due to the coronavirus-induced restrictions. Talking about what ‘The Amber Ruffin Show’ has to offer, she said, “We are going to talk about the news, and we are going to be doofuses, so hopefully it’ll be a nice mix of two."