Quinta Brunson
Born (1989-12-21) December 21, 1989 (age 33)
  • Writer
  • producer
  • actress
  • comedian
Years active2014–present
Notable workAbbott Elementary
Kevin Jay Anik
(m. 2021)

Quinta Brunson (/ˈkwɪntə/; born December 21, 1989)[1] is an American writer, producer, actress, and comedian. She is best known for creating, executive producing, co-writing, and starring in the ABC comedy series Abbott Elementary (2021–present). Brunson gained prominence for her self-produced Instagram series Girl Who Has Never Been on a Nice Date. She went on to produce and act in content for BuzzFeed Video, and developed two streaming series with BuzzFeed Motion Pictures.[2][3]

At the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards, she became the first Black woman to be nominated three times in the comedy category,[4] receiving nominations for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (which she won), Outstanding Comedy Series (as an executive producer), and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Brunson was honored with a 2022 Peabody Award for her work in Abbott Elementary. Brunson was placed on the Time 100 Most Influential People of 2022 list.[5][6][7][8]

Brunson has acted in the series iZombie, Single Parents, and Miracle Workers; provided voice work for Lazor Wulf and Magical Girl Friendship Squad; and starred in the first season of the HBO sketch comedy series A Black Lady Sketch Show.

Early life and education

Brunson was born and raised in West Philadelphia.[9] Her name means "fifth" in Spanish and signifies that she is youngest of five children.[10] Her mother, Norma Jean Brunson, taught kindergarten.[10] She was raised a Jehovah's Witness.[10]

She has described herself as "obsessed" with comedy from the time she attended the Charter High School for Architecture & Design,[11] and nurtured her interest by taking an improv class.[12] Brunson attended Temple University and took classes at Second City in Chicago her sophomore year. She dropped out of school shortly after to pursue a career in comedy.[13]


2014–2017: Instagram and Buzzfeed

Brunson originally garnered fans online by posting comedic videos to her Instagram in 2014.[14] In particular, her Girl Who Has Never Been on a Nice Date series went viral and grew her digital fan base.[14][15][16] She then worked as a video producer for BuzzFeed Video after first freelancing for the company.[17] Her videos primarily focused on problems experienced by twenty-somethings.[18]

In 2016, Brunson sold two web series as a development partner with BuzzFeed Motion Pictures:[19] one scripted comedy called Broke for Youtube Red, which she wrote, produced, and starred in;[6][20] the second, Up for Adoption, was produced by Verizon's go90 video platform, which she also starred in.[15] Brunson's performance in Broke was nominated for Best Acting in a Comedy at the Streamy Awards in 2017.[21]

2018–present: A Black Lady Sketch Show and Abbott Elementary

Shortly after Brunson left BuzzFeed in 2018, she co-starred in her first network pilot, the CW pilot The End of the World as We Know It,[7] but the show was not picked up by the network. She also wrote and produced a series called Quinta vs. Everything that streamed on Facebook Watch from 2017 to 2018.[13][16] On October 4, 2018, it was announced that a pilot co-produced by Brunson, Larry Wilmore, and Jermaine Fowler would be developed by CBS into a multi-cam comedy called Quinta & Jermaine.[8] The pilot would star Fowler and Brunson as longtime friends who must deal with an unplanned pregnancy; however, the show was not picked up.[22]

In 2019, she appeared as Dr. Charli Collier and her twin sister, Laila, on the supernatural comedy-drama series iZombie, and also voiced multiple characters in the animated series Lazor Wulf.[23] That fall, Brunson began to co-star and write in the HBO sketch comedy series A Black Lady Sketch Show, alongside Robin Thede, Gabrielle Dennis, and Ashley Nicole Black;[24] but she left the second season due to scheduling conflicts.[25] In 2020, Brunson co-starred in the Syfy animated series Magical Girl Friendship Squad, opposite Anna Akana.[26]

In 2021, Brunson appeared in a recurring role on the third season of Miracle Workers,[27] and in June, her debut book, She Memes Well, a collection of essays about her personal life and career, was released.[28]

Brunson's single-camera pilot (previously titled Harrity Elementary) was picked up by ABC with the new title Abbott Elementary in May 2021.[29][30] Brunson is also the writer, co-executive producer, and stars with Sheryl Lee Ralph, Lisa Ann Walter, Chris Perfetti, Tyler James Williams, and Janelle James.[27] The series premiered on December 7, 2021 and received critical acclaim.[31] It holds a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 38 critics' reviews.[32] Brunson received praise for bringing a fresh approach to network television with Abbott Elementary,[33][34] named after her real-life former middle school teacher, Ms. Abbott.[35] For the show's first season she was named to Time's 100 Most Influential People of 2022.[36] In July 2022, Brunson and ABC were sued by writer Christine Davis in a copyright infringement case.[37] In September 2022, Brunson won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing For a Comedy Series for the show, making her the first black woman to win that award solo.[38] The series received a 2023 Peabody Award.[39]

In August 2022, Brunson signed a multi-year overall deal with Warner Bros. Television, the co-production studio of her show, Abbott Elementary.[40]

Brunson has a guest starring role on the Party Down revival series.[41] In 2023, she made her Saturday Night Live hosting debut.[42]

Personal life

Brunson married sales manager Kevin Jay Anik in September 2021.[43]

She is a member of the Writers Guild of America and recently during the 2023 Met Gala she gave an interview where she showed her support with the ongoing writers strike that was to start on the same night of the event.[44]



Music videos

Year Title Artist Role Notes
2018 "Come Over"[47] The Internet Neighbor[48] Plays the role of the nosy neighbor
2020 "Dragonball Durag" Thundercat Girl[49] Plays the role of the first love interest


Year Title Role Notes
2016 Broke Miloh Web series; creator, director and executive producer[19]
2017 Up for Adoption Michelle go90 streaming series; creator and executive producer[19]
2017–2018 Quinta vs. Everything Quinta Web series; creator and executive producer[13]
2018 New Girl Annabelle Episode: "Mario"[50]
2018–2020 Single Parents Bess Recurring role (3 episodes)[51]
2019 iZombie Dr. Charlie Collier, Laila Recurring role (3 episodes)[23]
2019; 2022 A Black Lady Sketch Show Various characters Main cast, writer (Season 1); guest (Season 3)[24]
2019–2021 Big Mouth Quinta, Girl Voice, 4 episodes[51]
2019–2021 Lazor Wulf Blazor Wulf, The Youth, Bayonette Wulf, Farm Worker, Pearl Voice, main cast[23]
2020 Magical Girl Friendship Squad Alex Voice, main cast[26]
2021 Miracle Workers Trig Recurring role[27]
2021–present Abbott Elementary Janine Teagues Main cast; also creator, writer, and executive producer[30][2]
2022 Cars on the Road Ivy Voice, 3 episodes[52]
2023 Harley Quinn Hawkgirl Voice, episode: "A Very Problematic Valentine's Day Special"
2023 Party Down Jaff Episode: "Kyle Bradway Is Nitromancer"[41]
2023 History of the World, Part II Martha Magdalene Episode: "IV"
2023 Saturday Night Live Herself (host) Episode: "Quinta Brunson/Lil Yachty"


Year Title Role Notes
2020 An American Pickle Female Interviewee[53]
2021 As of Yet Lyssa[54]
2022 Weird: The Al Yankovic Story Oprah Winfrey


Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2017 Streamy Awards Best Acting in a Comedy Broke Nominated [11]
2022 AAFCA TV Honors Best TV Comedy Abbott Elementary Won [55]
Breakout Star Won
Black Reel Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Won [56]
Outstanding Actress, Comedy Series Won
Outstanding Writing, Comedy Series Abbott Elementary (for "Pilot") Won
Outstanding Guest Actress, Comedy Series A Black Lady Sketch Show Won
Celebration of Black Cinema & Television Actress Award for Television Abbott Elementary Won [57]
Dorian TV Awards Best TV Comedy Won [58]
Best TV Performance Won
Wilde Wit Award N/A Nominated
Gotham Awards Breakthrough Series – Short Format Abbott Elementary Nominated [59]
HCA TV Awards TV Breakout Star Won [60]
Best Broadcast Network Series, Comedy Won [61]
Best Actress in a Broadcast Network or Cable Series, Comedy Won
Best Writing in a Broadcast Network or Cable Series, Comedy Abbott Elementary (for "Pilot") Won
Humanitas Prize Comedy Teleplay Nominated [62]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Abbott Elementary (executive producer) Nominated [63]
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Abbott Elementary Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series Abbott Elementary (for "Pilot") Won
TCA Awards Program of the Year Abbott Elementary Won [64]
Outstanding Achievement in Comedy Won
Outstanding New Program Won
Individual Achievement in Comedy Won
2023 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated [65]
Best Comedy Series Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy Won [66]
Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy Won
Independent Spirit Awards Best Lead Performance in a New Scripted Series Won [67][3]
Best New Scripted Series Nominated
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Won [68]
Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Won
Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Television) Won
Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series Abbott Elementary (for "Development Day") Nominated
Entertainer of the Year N/A Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical Series Abbott Elementary Nominated [69]
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won [70]
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Writers Guild of America Awards Comedy Series Nominated [71]
New Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Abbott Elementary (executive producer) Pending [72]
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Abbott Elementary Pending
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Saturday Night Live (for "Quinta Brunson/Lil Yachty") Pending


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