How Quinta Brunson Went From Meme To Screen Queen
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO

How Quinta Brunson Went From Meme To Screen Queen

“It was time to leave when my ambitions became different than just working a 9-5."

Culture & Entertainment

Quinta Brunson is finally getting all her things and we love to see it. The 32-year-old comedian is the creator and star of her own ABC comedy series Abbott Elementary, which has received a lot of praise on social media. AbbottElementary focuses on a group of teachers working in an underfunded Philadelphia public school while trying to make the best of it.

The show is considered a “mockumentary” and has often been compared to The Office. Alongside Quinta, the series also stars Sheryl Lee Ralph, Tyler James Williams, and Janelle James.

Quinta explained her direction behind the hit comedy show's humor and the decision to stay away from heavier topics in lieu of focusing on the mundanities of life as a teacher. “Our task was always to say, ‘What is really happening in the day-to-day lives of these characters?’ From talking to friends, from talking to my mother [who was a teacher], it’s still the mundane. It’s how funding affects whether or not they can have a music class and what that means for them, like, ‘Oh my god, I won’t get a free period’ or, ‘I was going to get my nails done during their time and now I can’t.’"

"I have no interest in trying to get dig humor out of places where it isn’t. These teachers are still people who have lives, who have relationships, who have fun, who laugh. They deserve to be seen in that light without being bogged down by our stratosphere of otherworldly issues," she continued.

During her recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Quinta revealed that her show was actually named after her sixth grade teacher, Ms. Joyce Abbott, and the host surprised the actress with a virtual visit from the teacher.

But before having her own show, Quinta was a meme legend. Check out the the trajectory of Quinta’s career.

He Got Money Meme

Quinta first went viral a few years ago after she posted a sketch called, “The Girl Who’s Never Been on a Nice Date.” In the sketch, Quinta is on a date at the movie theater and when her date ordered multiple items including a large popcorn, she was taken aback and yelled out “he got money.” Speaking to Seth Meyers, she revealed that she didn’t expect her sketch to become a meme and that she was just “playing around.”


After receiving viral fame, Quinta began producing and starring in short videos for Buzzfeed in 2014. Some of her videos included "Rap Fans Vs. Everyone Else," "You Might Be a Sagittarius If," and "Being Friends With Your Ex: Expectations Vs. Reality."

She then went on to create her first series called Broke, which focused on three friends trying to make it in L.A. The series was produced by Buzzfeed and it was also picked up by YouTubeRed. However, she left Buzzfeed a few years later. “It was time to leave when my ambitions became different than just working a 9-5. Requesting time off to do things like write on a TV show, that conflicted with keeping a 9-5 job,” she said.

'A Black Lady Sketch Show'

The actress went on to costar on HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Showalongside Robin Thede, Gabrielle Dennis, and Ashley Nicole Black. While she only appeared on season one of the sketch comedy show, she was very passionate about working on a show that highlighted Black women in a new way.

"My hope is that even though it's on HBO, younger women are watching who are somewhere thinking, I don't know if I can do comedy. I don't know if I fit in any of the boxes,” she told Nylon. “We'd like to make it so there is no box anymore.”

She reportedly left the sketch show due to scheduling conflicts with her new series Abbott Elementary.

Featured image by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO

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