'A Black Lady Sketch Show' Is About To Revolutionize Sketch Comedy

Fans were gutted when they found out that Issa Rae’s summer staple Insecure wouldn’t be returning until 2020. But the woman is out here, securing the bag.

Besides becoming a bonafide movie star, Issa is currently working on three new shows for HBO, with the first, A Black Lady Sketch Show, premiering Friday, August 2nd at 11 p.m.

The half-an-hour show was created and written by comedienne Robin Thede and Issa will guest star and serve as the show’s Executive Producer. According to HBO, the show is going to be a “narrative series set in a limitless magical reality full of dynamic, hilarious characters and celebrity guests.”

black lady sketch show issa rae
Credit HBO

Robin Thede may not be a household name, but she doesn’t need to be with the credential she has. She hosted her own late-night talk show on BET called The Rundown with Robin Thede, which lasted one season. And in 2016, she was the lead writer for the White House Correspondent Dinner, making her the first black female writer to lead the event.

But what makes A Black Lady Sketch Show a big deal? For starters, it will serve as the first sketch comedy show to be created by, written by, and starring all black women. The main cast will consist of Thede, Gabrielle Dennis, Ashley Nicole Black, and Quinta Brunson, who you may know as Quinta B from the hilarious “He Got Money” videos. And once it premieres, it will become the fourth black sketch show to ever air.

Sketch comedy shows are a staple in the entertainment industry. While the industry is becoming more diverse, it’s no secret that the genre has been overwhelmingly… white. Think shows like Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Portlandia, Inside Amy Schumer, and, of course, SNL.

black lady sketch show hbo
Credit HBO

Prior to Sketch Show, all we had was In Living Color, The Chapelle Show, and Key and Peele. Each show was way before it’s time. Could you imagine SNL having the guts to air something like “Homey the Clown:?  Or Dave Chapelle’s blind Klansman who didn’t know he was black? Lorne Michaels would never.

But even though those shows were funny and daring, they were all male-dominated. So a fresh, female perspective wasn’t something that we saw — and that’s exactly what Thede wants to highlight. She tweeted,

“I created [A Black Lady Sketch Show] to amplify just some of the many incredible black ladies in comedy and am so proud of it!! ALSO IT’S FUNNY AF.”

A Black Lady Sketch Show is here to do it for the culture. And those celebrity guests? Issa Rae, Laverne Cox, Tia Mowry, Lena Waithe, Patti LaBelle, Kelly Rowland, Angela Bassett, and more are set to make an appearance in the show’s first season.

So make sure you grab some friends and wine on the premiere date, don’t let Auntie Angela down.


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Alysia Stevenson
Alysia Stevenson is a twenty-seven New York City transplant currently living in Florida with her boyfriend and three furbabies. When she's not writing, you can find her watching beauty tutorials on Youtube or Parks and Rec for the millionth time.