If you don’t already know,All things hilarious. It is the first variety sketch series written, directed and performed by Black women. created by Who is also the executive producer , The show is “a narrative series set in an infinitely magical reality filled with dynamic, hilarious characters and famous guests. The show features sketches presented by the main cast of black women.” In just one season, A black lady sketch show Received Including one for the excellent variety sketch series.
figured out Robin Thad, And new cast members To talk about the Black Woman’s jokes, working with his idols, and the power of a Beyoncé hoodie.
BET.com: I think ‘A Black Lady Sketch Show will be an institution for black female comedians, directors and writers. Why was it so important for you to center all kinds of black women in sketch comedy?
Robin Thad: Wow. Thank you for saying this. I think that is exactly what we had in mind. Many of us have auditioned for SNL and are in other sketch shows. This is like my seventh sketch show and he has done other sketch shows. I just got tired of waiting for other people, giving me a chance that I knew I could make for myself.
Then beyond me, it just wasn’t going to happen. I do not want to see that. Then I was like, “I know there are a lot of funny black women, it would be a shame not to just bring a group together and for this forum.” We brought like our veterans Angela Bassett, Patti LaBelle, And in this season Gabriel Union And all these amazing people that we get to see in such a way that the world does not allow us to see so many times.
No one was playing Angela Bassett sketch comedy. I told him, “Why did you take this job? He said, “I did it because you asked and nobody asked.” I think it is very wild.
It is not only important that there are black women in the cast, writing the words, doing all the hair, makeup, clothes while directing the show, it is important in its totality. It is a decision-free place where you find yourself without explanation. And I think that is what makes it so that we are not only attracted to guest stars but also to our audience
BET.com: Speaking of the Emmys, I read that when you were Emmy-nominated you came to know that you were on a Beyoncé hoodie. This is some serious luck.
Robin Thad: I did I did And I saw for the first time that we were nominated for a miscellaneous sketch series. And that was great for me, was I so. We received an Emmy nomination; I was peeping out. And then I got a text from our studio and said, congratulations on your three nominations. And I was like, ‘Who else were we nominated for !! ?? ‘ Then I saw the director and guest actress for Angela. It blew me away a season that aired a year ago. An all-new show should be recognized by the Academy in a way that traditionally, you know, only really honors SNL, let’s be honest.
Ki aur peel It has largely broken down in terms of Black people and Emmis since “In Living Color”. So, I think it was important for us to break that barrier and I hope it continues.
BET.com: Gabriel, you have been in many different castes and ethnicities. What’s different on comedy chemistry A black lady sketch showThe
Gabrielle Dennis: you know what? Mixologist Robin Beatty put it together. I mean, she knew that she knew what materials were needed. And she knew what each of us brings to the table and loved putting together a singing group, you know, you’re looking for all the parts, you know, who’s singing, who’s singing Is doing, you know, all layers, right?
And then when we get there, it is not only personality, talent, dedication, commitment, love, craft, all those things like that have to be merged. Because you can be talented and be a complete jerk and nobody wants to work with you. Or you could be a wonderful sweetie pie and not be funny, you know? There are a lot of elements that have to come together. Salutations to Robin for knowing this. I think chemistry comes from the common thread of all of us that we love and respect each other as artists.
Working with that kind of magic every day is very special. This is not something I have ever experienced before. So, you appreciate it. You are 1,000% grateful to be standing on two feet on the ground, living, breathing, laughing and being surrounded by so much talent.
BET.com: Skye, you come from a family that knows a few things about comedy (your dad is Robert Townsend). Do you believe that comedians are born or made?
Sky Townsend: Woooooo! You got hot with that one. I like it. I am in my family, we call it ‘funny bones’. I think some people are born funny. But I think that to get a place to be a truly incredible comedian, everyone must work on their gift. And she comes to understand things like time, pacing yourself, like trusting your instincts? Who are you studying as a comedian?
You know, my dad always says, ‘If you have only one effect, then you got a problem.’ I love someone for physical comedy. I have someone I love for character work. I have someone I love for animation. And so, I think you are born funny, but I think they are really smart people who work in their craft, but still maintain that original authenticity.
BET.com: Finally, Ashley, you’ve been behind the scenes as a writer. In your view, are there some challenges for black women who are creative in comedy?
Ashley Nicole Black: I think traditionally, the pressure I have experienced is when I get a script for my idea or to audition for roles. This is a lot of the same character over and over again, the way people imagine a plus-size black woman. What I love about sketch comedy in general is getting to play a lot of different characters.
On this show, especially, because this show gets so wild and so crazy, Robin is going to give you some parts that you’re like ‘I don’t even know how to play this. Nobody told me that. ‘This lady has convinced me of some things that I could do … There is one where I play like the best character. I love this show, there is no box. The box is not even near our set. We have torn it down, destroyed it, and it is gone.
I hope viewers can see themselves and like, “Yes! Tired of watching me do the same thing over and over again! I am excited to see this funny, funny, crazy, sexy, or whatever it is.
The premiere will air on Friday 23 April and every Friday at 11:00 PT / ET on HBO Max.
(Photo by Amy Sussman / Getty Image)