Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson told TV critics Thursday that while their four 2 Dope Queens specials for HBO are based on their podcasts of same name, all the content is original to the specials. More accurately, Williams said they were “keeping it hot, fresh and sexy for HBO.”
In August, HBO ordered four one-hour specials to debut in 2018. In the specials, they discuss Blerds, Hot Peen, Hair, New York, etc. Tig Notaro directs; an extensive guest list includes Jon Stewart, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Tituss Burgess.
An HBO comedy special being “the pinnacle of comedy,” Williams said they were so excited to get the offer they asked pay cabler execs what they wanted and how they want it executed. “They’re like ‘We just want you guys to do the podcast.’ They honored our voice and gave us freedom” to do what they do, “but with makeup and a wig budget,” she said.
They are asked their thoughts on cocoa butter, and other things they think about, the two explained, adding that guests were game for anything.
One critic seemed surprised at the number of white people in the audience, in a special clip. “I don’t think white guys sit at home and wonder if white girls are going to get their perspective,” Robinson said, adding she’s not surprised people of different races, ages, gender and sexual orientation appreciate their work. Williams described how much she enjoys when a white guy comes up to her and says he enjoys her podcasts, saying she typically responds, “Look at you!”
Asked how blerds – black nerds – differ “from white or Asian nerds,” Williams said that growing up in the suburbs all she wanted to do was read Harry Potter and that some of her relatives said she was acting “white.” “It’s progress for us to nerd out and geek out and get frivolous” and not have their role be to be stressed with “how horrible the world is all the time.”