Amelia Dimoldenberg Is in Search of Love on ‘Chicken Shop Date’
“Amelia never expressed interest in having a normal job,” said Zoe, 26, who shares a two-bedroom apartment with her sister. “From the beginning, it was always just high-level ambition.”
As is often the case with kids who grow up to become comedians, popularity evaded her until she discovered she was funny. Zoe recalled her sister wearing humor like a “suit of armor, especially among teenage boys, who can be quite awful.” But Ms. Dimoldenberg insisted that her interest in making people laugh was more about strategy than self-preservation. “I was looking at the cool group at school and trying to figure out how to get invited to their parties. It was never going to happen organically, so I made it happen. It’s what I’m doing now with my career.”
It’s also what she’s doing with her love life. These dates aren’t real, of course, but Ms. Dimoldenberg said she believed she would, or at least could, meet her future husband through the show. In that way, “Chicken Shop Date” is a lie that is also true.
“My date with Amelia was actually the first date I’d ever been on, believe it or not,” said the comedian Arnold Jorge, who filmed with Ms. Dimoldenberg in 2016 at the Spicy Grill ’N’ Fried in Bethnal Green. “And where better to do it than at a random chicken shop in East London?”
Jahmek Power, a grime emcee better known by his rap name Jammer, described Ms. Dimoldenberg as “one in a million,” and recalled that their date, at Vallance Grill & PFC in 2015, felt “sensationally interactive.” M Huncho, a rapper who wears a mask in public to protect his identity, described his encounter with Ms. Dimoldenberg at Kasey’s Chicken in 2019 as “awkward.”
“No word suits it better than that,” he said.
Often, the dates don’t go well, which is the point. By contorting herself for our sake into someone who looks out of place in her own skin, she hits a nerve. How she comes across on camera is an exaggeration of who she really is, and perhaps a reflection of how she views herself, rather than a character. In an age of social media hyper-curation, where we share only what we want others to see and double-tap — and even then, through a gauze of selfie filters and effects — we are all, in one way or another, projections of ourselves. For Ms. Dimoldenberg, drawing attention to that artifice is an act of vulnerability, if not defiance. And it’s the show’s secret sauce.