Last summer’s breakout show, The Bear, returns for season two on June 22, and we’re beyond ready to welcome it back into our television rotation. In between all the yelling (“Corner!”), audiences fell in love with Jeremy Allen White’s Carmy. And since every chef needs a sous chef, we also became obsessed with the straight forward Sydney, played by Ayo Edebiri.
In this grimly accurate depiction of working in a restaurant kitchen, Edebiri’s character is an eager young chef who has taken on a job at the Chicago sandwich shop, The Original Beef of Chicagoland. It was left to the classically-trained, award-winning chef Carmy after his brother dies.
If that sounds exhausting, just wait until you count how many times they say, “Yes, Chef.”
The Bear may be Edebiri’s most recent credit, but the comedian, writer, producer, and actress’s growing resume also includes Big Mouth, Dickinson, and Sunnyside. Needless to say, there are some pretty great Ayo Edebiri facts you should know, even if you don’t know the difference between a ribeye and a tenderloin.
10 Ayo Edebiri Facts You Should Know
1. She’s a stand-up comedian.
Clearly, Edebiri’s comedic talents have crossed over to her writing, producing, and acting career. But she’s been doing stand-up long before mainstream television, taking the stage at everything from small venues in NYC to Comedy Central’s Up Next.
This award-winning comedian first became interested in comedy in her eighth grade drama class. Shortly after, she joined the Improv Club at Boston Latin School. And the rest is – as they say – found on IMDB.
2. She’s an active Letterboxd user.
To say we started researching Ayo Edebiri and almost immediately fell into an hours-long rabbit hole reading every single one of her Letterboxd movie reviews would be…the most accurate statement we’ve ever made.
Here are a few of our favorites, which we think speak for themselves.
3. She voices Missy from Big Mouth.
Jenny Slate, the previous voice of Missy, stepped down so the role could be played by a Black actress. Edebiri came in at the end of the fourth season to take on her first voice acting role as the talkative, optimistic, and slightly anxious teenager. To which we say, only *slightly* anxious? Does she accept mentees?
She also joins the writing staff starting with the show’s fifth season. That’s what we call a double threat. And a double paycheck!
4. She has real-life experience in a kitchen.
While she was never a real-life chef, Edebiri did work at restaurants for many years. Her various roles included jobs in reservations, hosting, wait staff, and as a barista.
Even with this wealth of experience under her belt, she and co-star Jeremy Allen White still did some training in preparation for The Bear. The patties won’t flip themselves, you know. We know because we’ve tried. They just sit there, burning.
5. She’s a breath of fresh air on social media.
From genuine posts hyping up her latest work to iconic fashion statements to the most nonsensical captions, there’s nothing but (good) chaotic vibes on her social media channels. If only everyone we encountered was as delightfully sarcastic.
No idea what we’re talking about? Let her Twitter bio and cover image combination be the perfect example.
6. Her name means ‘joy.’
Ayo, which means “joy,” is a common Yoruba name. If you’re not familiar with the Yoruba people, they’re part of the large ethno-linguistic group in Africa (primarily Nigeria and Benin), and Yoruba is also the official language of Nigeria.
Don’t say we never taught you anything.
7. She has a teaching degree.
After graduating from high school, Edebiri attended New York University, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in teaching. But once she tried her hand at student teaching in the classroom, she found out teenagers are really scary. Ok, maybe that’s just what we think.
At the time, she also was doing stand-up at night, which led her down a different career path. We’re sorry to all the students who didn’t get to have her as their teacher, but selfishly, we think she made a great decision. Before you start judging us, when was the last time you talked to a fifteen-year-old?
8. Ayo Edebiri is a Boston native.
She now calls NYC home, but Edebiri was born and raised in Boston in a fairly religious Pentecostal house. She’s also the daughter of immigrants: her mother is from Barbados and her father is from Nigeria.
We just gave you like four facts in one. The least you could do is tell us we’re pretty.
9. She co-hosts a podcast.
On Iconography, co-hosts Edebiri and Olivia Craighead are joined by guests each episode to take deep dives into the lives and careers of the celebrities they stan.
Warning: this podcast will make you exactly 13 times smarter about pop culture. Check the terms and conditions if you don’t believe us.
10. She has a dog named Gromit.
Edebiri’s Chihuahua mix, Gromit, makes regular appearances on her Instagram. Their shenanigans include, but are not limited to: Chess games, fuzzy sweater wearing, and Gromit worship.
It’s okay, we’ll be invited next time. Right? Right??
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