Quinta Brunson Eats “Wings Of Death” While Discussing ‘Abbott Elementary’ On ‘Hot Ones’

Quinta Brunson recently joined Hot Ones where she not only discussed her Emmy-winning sitcom Abbott Elementary and comedy background — but ate fiery chicken wings while doing so. Taking on the “wings of death,” challenge, Brunson faced her fears and let viewers in on the passion behind creating the workplace mockumentary ABC show.

“I think a comedy has to have an engine,” she said as the levels of each hot sauce grew. “Workplace comedies, you need to be able to count on having an environment where there is a situation that would naturally arise every episode. Both I and Larry Willmore have been trying to crack a TSA comedy for the longest time so it all depends.”

In the sitcom — which will release its fourth season this fall — Brunson plays the ambitious and “plain Jane” elementary teacher, Janine. Over the last three seasons, viewers have witnessed the Philadelphia educator’s growth when it comes to teaching, dating, and even her own personal sense of style and appearance.

Quinta Brunson in Abbott Elementary

ABC/Gilles Mingasson

Speaking to the character’s evolution when it came to “bad wigs,” in the first season, Brunson reflected, “It looks bad on purpose. She’s a girl who doesn’t quite know what to do with her hair and wardrobe yet but she’s proud of herself regardless and that’s what I wanted people to take away with that kind of character.”

She added, “Janine’s a character now who’s started to watch some YouTube videos… It’s important to have those things for all characters but especially like young, Black girl characters as well.”

Elsewhere, Brunson also recalled why she decided to perfect her comedy craft, thanks to one of her inspirations, Keenan Ivory Wayans.

“I think a really defining moment for me was Keenan Ivory Wayans,” she revealed. “Just finding out how much he studied comedy, clearly he was a natural but I was like if he studied, then I definitely have to study, too. You have to educate yourself. For some reason people think they don’t have to educate themselves about entertainment and that is sad to me.”

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Speaking to Season 3, which has yet to wrap up, the 34-year-old Emmy-winner told Variety, “It was always in my head that Janine would one day go work for the district. I thought it could be a fun shake-up. Her hair is different. She’s dressing different. We see immediately what kind of growth has happened for her in the past five months.”

As far as Janine’s newfound love with Gregory (Tyler James Williams), Brunson said, “We’re putting a lot of faith in the audience. We’re not seeing Janine and Gregory talk to each other a ton in this premiere, but we trust the relationship that the audience knows they have.”

She added, “In my dating life, there’d be people I’d date, then not talk to for five months; then all of a sudden you spin the block with this person. I really try to make Janine and Gregory a realistic portrayal of dating in your 20s.”

Take a look at Quinta Brunson’s full sit-down with Hot Ones above.