Nicole Byer

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Nicole Byer
OccupationComedian, actress, writer
Years active2009–present
TelevisionNailed It!
Loosely Exactly Nicole

Nicole Byer is an American comedian, actress and writer. She currently stars in a scripted comedy based on her life, Loosely Exactly Nicole on Facebook Watch.[1] She is best known for her work on the prank show Ladylike and the reality show Girl Code.[2] As of 2018, Byer is the host of the Netflix reality bake-off show Nailed It!,[3] and the HeadGum podcast Why Won't You Date Me?. [4]

Early life[edit]

Byer was born and raised in the Lincroft section of Middletown Township, New Jersey,[5] where she graduated from Middletown High School South in 2004.[6] She is the younger of two daughters.[7] She has described Whoopi Goldberg, Tina Turner, and Mo'Nique as her early inspirations.[8] Byer moved to New York City after high school, waitressing and taking classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade before moving to Los Angeles in 2012.[9]


In 2013 Byer and Sasheer Zamata created and starred in a web series called Pursuit of Sexiness which was produced by Upright Citizens Brigade.[10] Nayomi Reghay at The Daily Dot called it a "must-see".[11] In 2014, she hosted the first season of MTV's Are You the One? The Aftermatch Live, an after-show for Are You the One?.

Byer appeared in several roles on network television in 2016. That year, she had supporting roles on three shows: MTV's reality show Girl Code; a hidden camera prank show called Ladylike, also on MTV; and she was a series regular on the Fox show Party Over Here, a half-hour sketch comedy created by Paul Scheer and Lonely Island, which was cancelled after one season.[12][13][14] As a commentator on the reality show Girl Code, she was described by Maitri Mehta at Bustle as a "beloved talking head";[2] Stephanie Merry at The Washington Post called Byer "one of the most dependably funny commentators" on the show.[15] Byer has guest starred in several shows including BoJack Horseman, Transparent, and Bob's Burgers. She played Lizette in season 5, episode 7 of the Freeform series Young & Hungry in 2017. She also appeared as a guest judge on the third season of RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars.[16] She tours the United States doing stand-up comedy and regularly performs improv with Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles.

As of March 2018, Byer hosts a Netflix original reality bake-off show called Nailed It! alongside head judge, chocolatier Jacques Torres. Each episode features three home bakers with a "terrible track record" attempting to recreate extremely complicated pastries for a $10,000 prize.[17]

In 2018, she appeared in a Smirnoff ad campaign with actor Ted Danson.[18]

Loosely Exactly Nicole[edit]

In 2016, MTV premiered Loosely Exactly Nicole, a scripted, single-camera comedy written and starring Byer, based on her life.[1] Madeleine Davies at Jezebel described the show's premise as a "comedic look on [Byer's] life as a black actress struggling to make it in Hollywood."[19] Loosely, Exactly Nicole premiered September 5, 2016 on MTV.[8] It was later cancelled after one season.[20] Shortly after, it was picked up by Facebook Watch for a second season.[21]

Why Won't You Date Me?[edit]

In December 2017, Byer launched a weekly podcast titled Why Won't You Date Me? on the HeadGum podcast network.[22] Each episode features a guest, typically another comedian, with whom Byer converses openly about her limited dating history, past sexual experiences, and frustration with being single.[23] The guest also critiques her Tinder profile. Byer concludes each show by asking the guest host if they would date her. Past guests include Sasheer Zamata, Emily Heller, and Brooks Wheelan. Critics have referred to the show as "bold"[24] and "refreshing."[25]

Comedic style[edit]

On The Ringer, Allison P. Davis described Byer's comedy: "Most easily compared to a raunchier Retta with a hint of Ilana Glazer's madcap energy. She's mouthy, vulgar, a little bit goofy, relatable but ridiculously charming, and not afraid to infuse her broad comedy with a confident sexuality."[9] Writing for USA Today, Jaleesa M. Jones said that "it's precisely [Byer's] brazen, ribald brand of comedy that landed her in the creative incubator that is MTV, where she toplines two new comedy shows in 2016, Ladylike and Loosely Exactly Nicole".[8]

Personal life[edit]

Byer supports body positivity and stated in an interview with Brit+Co, "Body positivity, to me, means you accept the body that you’re in...And if you want to change it, you can, but you should love the skin that you’re in currently, forever. Because everyone is beautiful. No one’s truly ugly. You’re always beautiful to somebody, and you’re always ugly to somebody."[26]



Year Title Role Notes
2016 Other People Charlie
2016 Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Office Nicole
2018 All About Nina Leslie


Year Title Role Notes
2012 30 Rock Mo'Nique Lookalike Episode: "Grandmentor"
2013 For-Profit Online University 22MuchBIZ Adult Swim special
2013–2014 The Birthday Boys Nurse / Maurine 2 episodes
2013–2015 Pursuit of Sexiness Nicky 11 episodes (digital shorts)
2014 Friends of the People Episode: "Meet the Friends"
2015 Like, Share, Die Miss Andry / Wendy Williams (voice) 2 episodes
2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! Terri Herdsman Episode: "Weird Al Yankovic Wears a Different Hawaiian Shirt"
2016 Angie Tribeca Holly Episode: "The Famous Ventriloquist Did It"
2016 Animals. Stephanie (voice) Episode: "Pigeons"
2016 Lady Dynamite A.D. Fiona 2 episodes
2016 Party Over Here Various 10 episodes
2016 Family Guy Airport Security Officer (voice) Episode: "The Boys in the Band"
2016–2017 The UCB Show Various 2 episodes
2016–2017 Transparent Jataun 2 episodes
2016–2018 BoJack Horseman Teenage Girl (voice) 2 episodes
2016–2018 Loosely Exactly Nicole Nicole Main role; 20 episodes
2017 Michael Bolton's Big, Sexy Valentine's Day Special Security Guard #2 TV special
2017 Young & Hungry Lizette Episode: "Young & Bridesmaids"
2017–2018 Star vs. the Forces of Evil Princess Arms / Princess Jaggs (voice) 3 episodes
2018 Nailed It! Herself (host) 20 episodes
2018 Apple & Onion Cotton Candy / Rude Fan (voice) Episode: "Hot Dog's Movie Premiere"
2018 Bob's Burgers Martha / Drunk Lounge Lady (voice) Episode: "Go Tina on the Mountain"
2018 Little Big Awesome Ho Cho Flo / Puppy Num Nums (voice) Episode: "Puppy Shower/Claude the Buff Hamster"
2018 Big City Greens Andromeda (voice) Episode: "Gargoyle Gals/Supermarket Scandal"
2019 The Good Place Gwendolyn Episode: “Chapter 37: The Book of Dougs”
2019 Brooklyn Nine-Nine Trudy Judy Episode: "A Tale of Two Bandits"
2019 The Simpsons Erica (voice) Episode: “Bart vs. Itchy & Scratchy”


  1. ^ a b Moraes, Lisa de (July 31, 2016). "'Loosely Exactly Nicole' Star Nicole Byer Asked To Explain Show's White EPs – TCA". Deadline. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Mehta, Maitri (September 8, 2015). "Who Is Nicole Byer? The Comedian Has Two New Shows On MTV & She Deserves It". Bustle. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  3. ^ Romano, Nick (March 10, 2018). "Nailed It is the Netflix series about baking fails you didn't know you needed". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  4. ^ "Why Won't You Date Me?". HeadGum. HeadGum. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  5. ^ Lutes, Alicia. "16 Smart Questions for Nicole Byer", Amy Poehler's Smart Girls, September 29, 2015. Accessed January 14, 2019. "Hometown: Lincroft, New Jersey… Monmouth County"
  6. ^ "DOE Co-Sponsors 24th Annual Governor’s Awards in Arts Education", New Jersey Department of Education, press release dated May 26, 2004. Accessed January 14, 2019. "Nicole Byer - Lincroft - Middletown HS South"
  7. ^ "36 – Boyfriendless Forever w/ Marcella Arguello". Headgum. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c Jones, Jaleesa M. (August 3, 2016). "'Loosely Exactly Nicole' star Nicole Byer on early auditions: I was asked to 'be as black as possible'". USA Today. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Davis, Allison P. (September 6, 2016). "Nicole Byer Is Not Your Teacher". The Ringer. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  10. ^ Wright, Megh (April 28, 2015). "Sasheer Zamata and Nicole Byer Turn into Garbage Monsters in 'Pursuit of Sexiness'". Splitsider. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  11. ^ Reghay, Nayomi (April 1, 2015). "Nicole Byer and Sasheer Zamata pursue sexiness, wine, and laughs in the 'Pursuit of Sexiness'". Daily Dot. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  12. ^ Wright, Megh (March 17, 2016). "Nicole Byer Is the Nation's Top Transvaginal Mesh Attorney on This Week's 'Party Over Here'". Splitsider. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  13. ^ Wright, Megh (May 13, 2016). "Nicole Byer Gets Stalked by an Internet Ad on Tomorrow's 'Party Over Here'". Splitsider. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  14. ^ Houlihan, Ryan (September 8, 2015). "Nicole Byer Is About To Redefine The Term 'Ladylike' With Brand-New Show". MTV. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  15. ^ Merry, Stephanie. "Nicole Byer has her own TV show, and the fact she's a black female comedian is the 'least interesting thing' about it". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  16. ^ Sava, Oliver (February 15, 2018). "Kristin Chenoweth can't save Drag Race's humdrum All Stars Snatch Game". The A.V. Club. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  17. ^ Licata, Elizabeth (February 22, 2018). "Netflix's "Nailed It" Is a Hilarious TV Baking Competition for Amateur Chefs". The Kitchn. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  18. ^ Scott, Sydney. "Nicole Byer Shares The Most Embarrassing Thing She's Done In Bed With A Guy". Essence. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  19. ^ Davies, Madeleine (August 1, 2016). "'I Want It Blacker': Here's the First Trailer for Nicole Byer's Loosely Exactly Nicole". Jezebel. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  20. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 9, 2017). "MTV's 'Loosely Exactly Nicole' & 'Mary + Jane' Comedy Series Canceled After One Season, What About 'Sweet/Vicious'?". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  21. ^ Goldberg, Lesley. "Facebook Dives Into Scripted Television With Nicole Byer Comedy Series (Exclusive)". THR. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  22. ^ "Why Won't You Date Me?". Headgum. Headgum. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  23. ^ "Nicole Byer Takes Honesty About Dating to Whole New Level with "Why Won't You Date Me?"". The Comedy Bureau. February 23, 2018. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  24. ^ Wright, Megh. "This Week in Comedy Podcasts: A Very Special Episode of Nicole Byer's 'Why Won't You Date Me?'". Vulture. Vulture. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  25. ^ Foskett, Annie. "5 Podcasts About Dating You Need To Hear If You're Dating In Your 20s". Elite Daily. Elite Daily. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  26. ^ Takeda, Allison. "Nicole Byer Can Find Humor in Anything — And She Does, on 'Loosely Exactly Nicole'". Brit+Co. Retrieved August 21, 2018.

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