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.
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