Episode #401: Robin Thede

The creator and star of HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show, Robin Thede and her crew already have enjoyed 13 Emmy nominations and one Emmy win heading into the 2022 awards ceremony, as well as 2020 honors from the TV Critics Association for outstanding sketch/variety series. Thede grew up in Iowa, studied broadcast media at Northwestern and made a brief stop at The Second City before going Hollywood. She scored supporting roles in short-lived sketch shows for Mike Epps and Affion Crockett, but much of Thede’s early success came behind the camera as a writer — for the BET Awards, Real Husbands of Hollywood and The Queen Latifah Show. Thede broke through as the first black woman to serve as head writer in late-night TV for The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, then got her own late-night show, The Rundown, on BET. When that show abruptly ended, it opened the door for Thede to take her talents to HBO, where she not only has shone brightly, but also helped pave the way for success with past and present fellow castmates such as Quinta Brunson and Ashley Nicole Black. Thede sat with me to talk about all of that and more.

If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

View all posts by Sean L. McCarthy →