Robin Thede has always had affection for sketch comedy. In fact, when she was little girl, her parents let her stay up late to watch Saturday Night Live — but only up until Weekend Update. When In Living Color came out, Thede was even more submerged in the world of sketch with a trailblazing show that included people of color. Thede continues that tradition of shaking up the status quo with A Black Lady Sketch Show on HBO.
Executive produced by Thede and Issa Rae, A Black Lady Sketch Show stars and is written by Black women. With core cast members Ashley Nicole Black, Gabrielle Dennis and Quinta Brunson; Dime Davis in the director’s chair for all episodes; and a wildly impressive slate of guest stars that includes Laverne Cox, Angela Bassett, Lena Waithe, Patti LaBelle Loretta Divine and more, ABLSS is groundbreaking as the first of its kind. Through subversive comedy, the series tackles topics that make Black women feel seen but also serves up humor that connects to everyone and, most importantly, makes them laugh.
Thede paid a visit to the New Hollywood Podcast to talk about her experiences in sketch comedy, love for improv, her journey as a TV writer and the ins-and-outs of the brilliant “Basic Ball” sketch. She also shares her idea of the perfect “Hot Girl Summer” and what she is doing to prep for the season of “THOTumn”.
Listen to the episode below.
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