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The Ms. Pat Show's Jordan Cooper Says the Sitcom Was the Show He Always Wanted to Make

Growing up, Jordan E. Cooper was an all-around creative kid. What began as stapling handwritten pages of stories together and performing plays in the living room wearing costumes made from his father's old work uniforms, would lead to discovering his life's work.

"I always wanted to tell stories," he recalls. "And I don't think I realized that it was a thing until I probably was eight years old. I started paying more attention to the things that I was in love with, like movies, TV, plays, and realizing that, 'Oh, this is a thing that people do and they get paid to do it. And that's just their life. There are certain people I feel like God puts on this earth and then immediately installed them with the mission that they have to do in life and the thing that they're set to do. And I think I'm just grateful that I was one of those people. And I just knew that I had to make it happen because I couldn't survive any other way."

His professional journey from actor to showrunner and executive producer began when Lee Daniels saw the satire play Ain't No Mo, which Cooper starred in and wrote. Impressed by his work, Daniels later approached him about coming on board for a project.

"He said, 'Hey, I'm working on a project with this lady Ms. Pat, and we don't really have a concept for her. We know we want to do a TV show with her, but we don't have a concept," Cooper shares what Lee Daniel’s stated. “And he said, 'Can you read her book and see if you can come up with something?’ And I read it, I knew, I saw the sitcom in my head. I saw this rated R, shot in front of a live studio audience sitcom that I'd never seen before, but I always wanted to make. And she was just the perfect muse to make that foray into that multi-cam sitcom."

Jordan E. Cooper

When reflecting on what makes The Ms. Pat Show unique, he compares the sitcom to "old school shows" like All in the Family and The Jeffersons, but edgier. Sensitive subjects ranging from school shootings to depression in the Black community and much more are featured. Cooper kindly agreed to share his definition of what family means to him and how family ties are represented in The Ms. Pat Show.

"Those are the people you get whether you like it or not," he said. "And thankfully, I was blessed with people that I actually like. But there's something in the inception of a family that I think all comes down to love. I'm really interested in this aspect of love and unity. Yes, it's tied by blood, but it's also not tied by blood. Some people's families are the people who aren't related to them. So you've really got to invest in this idea of who loves you no matter what, who challenges you no matter what, [and] who wants you to be the best version of yourself. Those people are who you call family. And I think that this is a show that invests in that and looks at that."

Cooper revels in the opportunity to portray Black narrative authentically and unfiltered, even if some scenarios within the show are perceived as un-politically correct.

After considering his sources of inspiration, he said, "I gain inspiration from God, people, and the God in people. That is it. That is the most succinct version because I could go on forever. I love the complexity of human beings and the beauty of human beings."

As a big fan of the TV show Pose, Cooper was honored to become a part of the cast and portray Tyrone. He fondly remembers his time on set during filming as a fun and inspiring experience. "I always say if aliens came, invaded the world, and they wanted to know what it was like to be Black and gay, I would put two things on the shelf; Roots and Pose," he jokes.

Cooper looks forward to bringing some dream projects to fruition in the future and the upcoming season two of The Ms. Pat Show.

"We go even harder this season," he exclaims. "And it was crazy because the show broke records for BET. It broke records and went viral on Twitter and Tik Tok. We got picked up two weeks after the show was released, which is wild. So we're in the thick of season two right now, making that happen. I'm working on a feature film right now. I can't talk too much about it, but it's special. And it's going to be fun. But I'm working on that, as well as gearing up to bring my play Ain't No Mo back to New York. I can't really say in what capacity just yet, but we're bringing it back."

Stream the first season of The Ms. Pat Show on BET+.

Photo Credit: Hoshi Joell

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