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How "A Black Lady Sketch Show" is a big step in Comedy

Updated: Apr 6, 2021

For years, Sketch shows have been one of the backbones of Comedy on Television, with shows like Saturday Night Live (1975- , Mad TV (1995-2009), All That (1994-2005). Many of these sketch shows cater to just the general audience and often felt a little outdated despite the critical acclaim they received. Recently, HBO aired A Black Lady Sketch Show. This show is written and produced by Robin Thede along with Issa Rae being another producer on the show. This is the first series to have an All Black Cast and all-black women writers room. A Black Lady Sketch Show stars Robin Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Quinta Brunson, and Gabrielle Dennis with guest stars, such as Issa Rae, Angela Bassett, Lena Waithe, and Marsai Martin.

With typical sketch shows, there aren’t often narratives and storylines. This sketch show is different from others as it has many point of views and storylines that are shown throughout the episodes. Thede told Essence, ‘“But, I think for [A Black Lady Sketch Show], we have a niche in the market that’s always going to be a stand out just because of the sheer point of view and also the type of show we’re making. We’re making a narrative sketch series that’s cinematic and has recurring characters and storylines that you follow throughout the six episodes. We’ve distinguished ourselves from other offerings. And again, not to say that we’re better or worse, it’s just that we are doing our own thing.”’ With only 6 episodes shot, three of those six episodes have aired.

Overall, these are the type of voices we need in comedy. In order to make those to feel seen, they need to be heard and that is exactly what Thede does with her new sketch show. With the diverse cast of different types of black women, to the dialogue and sketches that are presented.


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