Bridget Stokes (‘A Black Lady Sketch Show’ director): ‘If you’re not laughing, we haven’t done our job’ [Exclusive Video Interview]

“You’re in a whole new world every day,” reveals “A Black Lady Sketch Show” director Bridget Stokes in our recent webchat. She explains, “Usually you think, ‘I’ll finish one project then I’ll go to the next to do something different.’ But I’ve got to do something different every day. It was a gift pulling genres and tones and creating worlds and being able to go from one to the next.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.

The sketch show, which spoofs a wide range of genres, stars creator Robin Thede , and the series has received its third straight Emmy nomination for Best Variety Sketch Series. It’s been renewed by HBO for a fourth season and is the first sketch show to have featured an all-black women writer’s room and all-black women cast. Stokes, who directed all six episodes of the third season, has received an Emmy nomination for Best Variety Series Director.

She explains, “Robin has always done a really good job in making sure that black women are behind the camera in every in any role possible. That’s an expansion of the world that we’re showing you on screen. We’re also doing the behind the scenes stuff. I think we’re doing an exciting thing and it’s just really nice to be recognized for it.”

Stokes is nominated for directing the season premiere, ‘Save My Edges, I’m a Donor!’ The episode opens with the sketch ‘Product Purge,’ where a crowd storms a store to return unused impulse items. The director reveals, “We had 100 actors, we had several stunts, we had these women going into an epic battle. The choreography and making sure that the action is as exciting as possible was really a blast. ”

Stokes reflects, “The most important thing about ‘Black Lady Sketch Show’ is to make people laugh so they’re rolling around on the floor and crying. That’s our goal. It’s what we keep coming back to. We keep asking, ‘is it funny?’ Because, at the end of the day, we could do something very epic and cinematic, but if you’re not laughing we haven’t done our job.”

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