Jameela Jamil is an unstoppable creative, a fierce advocate for women’s issues, and a hilarious human, something the hundreds of guests on her podcasts can attest to.

Earlier this year, Jameela launched Bad Dates, a delightfully raunchy, raucous podcast about a universally relatable experience: weird, cringe-worthy, and all-around awful dates. Jameela invites celebrity guests, ranging from Conan O’Brien to Nikki Glaser to Mae Martin, for 40 minutes of swapping the wildest dating fiascos they’ve experienced. Pick any episode and you’re in for a conversation that’s chaotic and a little unhinged—in the absolute best way.

“It’s like listening through a glass to your next-door neighbours having the most fun and inappropriate and open and shameless dinner party of all time,” says Jameela.

On September 26, Jameela will be hosting a live edition of Bad Dates at Just For Laughs Toronto. Before her first live taping of the podcast, Jameela was worried that being on stage would make her guests clam up. As it turns out, she had nothing to worry about.

“The live shows turn out to be even more wild, even more open,” Jameela says. “We had Sarah Silverman on the floor, lying on her front, miming tweaking someone’s nipple while also sucking their feet. And that’s just never something I thought I was going to live to see in my lifetime… there’s so much solidarity coming from the audience, it makes you want to reach out and share even more.”


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In addition to roles on The Good Place and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Jameela has made waves with I Weigh, her podcast and online community that’s all about mental health, activism, and challenging societal norms. She brings on performers, influencers, activists, and friends for reflective and thought-provoking conversations. But Jameela also knows that a little silliness goes a long way. 

I Weigh is where I go to learn and Bad Dates is where I go to laugh. We can’t always connect to ourselves and each other via things that are of a more deep and personal nature. Sometimes we just need to laugh at something silly and hear a poop joke or jizz joke and remember that we are all just silly children who are grown up with taxes, and now we have pubes and responsibility and backache.”

Bad Dates is the perfect space for this, and Jameela feels she really gets to know her guests through the stories they tell. “The comedians share so much about themselves and their vulnerabilities and their fears through these funny stories,” she says. “We’ve tried to create a vibe that feels very intimate with no judgment.”

A judgment-free space is something Jameela wasn’t always lucky enough to have. She’s unafraid to admit she’s made mistakes during her time in the public eye, and is very open about her imperfections.

“When you have a big public platform, I think it’s quite oppressive, especially as a woman to other women, to present this perfect hair, perfect nails, perfect skin, perfect opinions, perfect behaviour, perfect walk. It made me feel like shit when I was a teenager,” she says. “It’s important for women to not be held to the impossible standard of perfection because that is the enemy of progress. I’m all about being raw so people can see my progress in real time.”

As a self-described “feminist-in-progress”, Jameela has consistently spoken out about women’s issues throughout her career—taking on airbrushed photos, body-shaming ads, toxic diet culture and so much more. She takes unapologetically bold stances, and even though not everyone agrees with her approach, her unwavering sense of self is admirable, and it has given her the strength to keep going.

“One of the biggest learning curves of reaching my 30s is realizing that the world will destroy me if I let it. I need to build an armor of love and respect and grace for myself. I’m gonna fail, I’m gonna mess up, I’m gonna humiliate myself. I have to be the one who cheers myself on to get back up and try again.” 

Jameela embodies so much of what we believe in wholeheartedly at SheDoesTheCity. Speaking up. Pushing boundaries. Embracing imperfection. So we had to ask her for some of her best advice for our community of artists—women, non-binary and trans folks who are striving to create bold and beautiful work. We were energized and inspired by what she had to say:

“Don’t shit on yourself. There are enough people in the world trying to shit on you. You cannot. You must not join in with that chorus and be unkind to yourself and doubt yourself and criticize yourself in a way that you wouldn’t criticize someone else. None of us really know our full potential because so often we’re discouraged from trying because people are so afraid of failing. And what I find exciting, is just finding out maybe I will suck at this but I’ll never know unless I actually try.”

Jameela Jamil will be hosting an episode of Bad Dates live at Just For Laughs Toronto on September 26. We can’t wait! Tickets are available here.