Robin Thede’s A Black Lady Sketch is one of a kind in more ways than one. First, it boasts an all-black female cast and is the first sketch show to have an all-black writer’s room. For Thede, pitching the idea was a no brainer.
Selling her idea to HBO, Thede says, “I said to them ‘You know what we should do? Something that has never been done before,’” writes Indie Wire. Although she was aware that her idea was groundbreaking, Thede says she didn’t feel any undue pressure. Issa Rae, who is also the executive producer of A Black Lady Sketch Show, shared the same sentiment. However, for the director of the show, Dime Davis, the pressure came in bringing Thede’s visual aesthetic of the show to life.
“Robin’s vision was so specific, cinematic, magical and grounded, which is a lot to put on a sketch show,” Davis said. “So, for me, it was very important to capture all of that and make sure it’s funny as hell. And I think that we accomplished that,” Davis said.
In addition to the visuals, it was important for Thede that the show celebrates women from various backgrounds.
“It was important that we had a plus-size woman on the show; different skin tones; different age ranges; that we hit matters that are important to different economic statuses; to the LGBTQ community; to all sorts of different people – Afro-Latinas, Afro-Caribbeans, first-generation Africans. We wanted to show the variety amongst black women so that a show that seems very singular can be universally funny and appreciated,” she said.
Watch as Robin Thede and Issa Rae discuss A Black Lady Sketch Show:
Catch A Black Lady Sketch Show Mondays at 21:30 on 1 Magic DStv Channel 103.