Who Is Taylor Tomlinson? Meet The Woman Taking The Comedy World By Storm

Taylor Tomlinson has joined the late-night TV show scene with her new show "After Midnight." Debuting on January 16, 2024, it takes over the 12:30 am time slot that was previously held by James Corden, who left "The Late Late Show" in 2023. Tomlinson's show is a new take on the Comedy Central show "@midnight," which was part game show, part comedy show. While Tomlinson is a new face to the late-night show lineup, she's not new to comedy.

If you're not familiar with Tomlinson, it's okay. She realizes that there are some people who, before this gig, may not know who she is. She was announced as the host for the show on CBS's "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," and Tomlinson jokingly told Colbert, "So if you don't know who I am, don't worry, I barely know myself." 

Though some may not yet know Tomlinson, she has had her share of experience on the comedy stage. As she told Colbert, she's been doing stand-up comedy since she was 16, and Tomlinson turned 30 in 2023.

Taylor Tomlinson got her start telling jokes in churches

Taylor Tomlinson started out in comedy as a teen with her father in a church basement; they signed up for a comedy class together. Tomlinson was hooked, and she got her first gigs telling jokes at churches. Her comedy set is certainly no longer church-friendly, and Tomlinson talked to UPI about what her devout Christian father and stepmother think about that transition. "Obviously, they'd prefer that I was squeaky clean and doing jokes in churches, but that's not my path," she shared. "So we've come to a place where I'm like, 'You don't need to watch it.'" They are still supportive of her though, and she runs any jokes she's going to tell about her family past them before she tells them to the world.

Tomlinson's career got a big boost when she appeared on "Last Comic Standing" in 2015. After that, she was named one of Variety's 10 Comics to Watch and had a 15-minute set on "The Comedy Lineup" on Netflix. In 2019, Tomlinson also went on a nationwide comedy tour with Conan O'Brien. O'Brien has sung her praises. "Taylor's secret weapons are her authenticity and her bravery," he told StyleCaster. "She's not afraid to share things openly from her childhood or her adult life. She walks up to that third rail and then masterfully veers into the absurd. The point is made and the comedy is not only intact, but it shines all the brighter."

Taylor Tomlinson is able to make jokes about her mental health

While some may find her thoughts offensive, Taylor Tomlinson has joked about her mental health issues and time in therapy. She's been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and she's admitted to having panic attacks, thoughts of suicide, and night terrors. She's also been able to joke about her mother dying when Tomlinson was just eight years old. Tomlinson has explained on stage how she can joke about such serious topics. "This is me monetizing my trauma. I'm doing a show. There are T-shirts in the lobby," she said. "I'm talking about it up here because I'm working through it behind the scenes," as reported by The Washington Post.

If you want to see her in action as a stand-up, Tomlinson's first hour-long Netflix special — "Quarter-Life Crisis" — was released in March 2020. The New York Times put it on their list of the "best comedy of 2020." Her second special "Look At You" came out in 2022. Her third special for the streamer is called "Have It All;" it has been filmed and will be released in February 2024. 

If her Netflix specials and "After Midnight" aren't enough Tomlinson for you, she has also been touring the country with her comedy set. You can also listen to her podcast "Sad in the City," which ran for a total of 18 episodes. There's even going to be a movie about her life, though an official release date has not been announced. 

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.