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A Black Lady Radio Interview

Robin Thede.
Robin Thede.

Comedian Robin Thede is a riot — and has been for years.

She’s had stints as a writer on scripted series and “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore”, and has hosted her own late-night program, “The Rundown with Robin Thede”.

Now, Thede is tackling the world of television sketch comedy with co-stars Ashley Nicole Black, Quinta Brunson and Gabrielle Dennis in “A Black Lady Sketch Show”. Thede and “Insecure” star Issa Rae are executive producers.

In an interview with Salon, Thede talked about what it means to be a black lady with a sketch show:

I think being able to see black women who are written for by black women who are directed by black women who are black women starring in roles as black women, that will read as more authentic. And it allows us to explore the boundaries of comedy or the limitlessness of this genre. Versus, say, being on a show where you might be written for by a predominantly white male room, where you’re just playing a character that they wrote for you because they have to put you on something, or because they need a Michelle Obama impression or whatever.

According to IndieWire, Thede sees the first season, which is composed of six episodes, as containing 40 short films.

Additionally, for her, this celebration of varied experiences also had to be intersectional. Said Thede, “It was important that we had a plus-size woman on the show; different skin tones; different age ranges; that we hit matters that are important to different economic statuses; to the LGBTQ community; to all sorts of different people – Afro-Latinas, Afro-Caribbeans, first generation Africans. We wanted to show the variety amongst black women, so that a show that seems very singular can be universally funny and appreciated.”

We talk with Thede about the new series and the landscape of sketch comedy at large.

We want to hear from you for this show. Write us a short note about your favorite sketches, and email it to us at 1a [at] wamu [dot] org, or message us on Facebook or Twitter.

Show produced by Jonquilyn Hill.


Robin Thede, Executive producer, “A Black Lady Sketch Show;” comedian

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Copyright 2019 WAMU 88.5