Robin Thede interview: ‘A Black Lady Sketch Show’ showrunner

“We had to be out in the world when the world wasn’t open,” Emmy-nominated showrunner Robin Thede recalls about the production challenges on the second season of her hit HBO variety sketch series “A Black Lady Sketch Show.”

“We made this show during the height of a global pandemic. We were one of the first shows back and we shoot everything on location. So, you know, it’s a particular challenge. It’s not like we have the safety of the stage or anything like that,” Thede explains. We talked with Thede as part of Gold Derby’s special “Meet the Experts” Q&A event with 2021 Emmy nominees. Watch our exclusive video interview above.

SEE 2021 Emmy nominations complete list: All the nominees for the 73rd Emmy Awards

“A Black Lady Sketch Show” is a hilarious half-hour sketch comedy series written, created, produced by and starring Thede, who also serves as the showrunner on the hit series.

Notwithstanding the challenges of bringing her show to life during a crippling pandemic, Thede was also conscious of not succumbing to any kind of sophomore slump. “We knew that by the time the show aired in April of 2020, we had hoped the pandemic would be over. We were wrong, but we knew that no one was going to say, oh, the show was good and we’ll give them some grace because they shot during a pandemic. No, it had to be better than season one! It had to be bigger than season one. It had to be funnier than season one,” she reveals. “We want people to be like, I did not see that coming! I can’t believe they said that, this character is crazy! You know, we want people to be constantly just wanting more.”

Before her success on this show, Thede made a name for herself as head writer on “The Queen Latifah Show” and as part of the writing team on “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” before moving on to her own late-night variety talk show “The Rundown with Robin Thede.” For “A Black Lady Sketch Show,” she has three Emmy nominations to date – two as producer (2020 and 2021) in the Best Variety Sketch Series category and a third for writing this year.

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UPLOADED Aug 16, 2021 8:51 am