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A Black Lady Sketch Show has turned Robin Thede into the most influential and exciting figure in sketch comedy

  • "She picks fights with conspirators during a heist, wears a glittery silver wig that isn’t exactly inconspicuous, and, before stealing a diamond, takes a selfie and posts it to social media," says Jason Zinoman of the HBO sketch comedy show's creator and star. "It’s a stylishly executed genre spoof, with a solid premise and slick split-screen editing. And yet, its polish merely supports what really makes you laugh: the flamboyant goofiness of Thede, who commits to preposterousness with deadly seriousness. Her physical comedy, kinetic and rubbery, constantly shifting and shameless, italicizes everything. When she maneuvers across the room like a member of the Ministry of Silly Walks, the whole expensive-looking production becomes part of the joke." Zinoman adds that in Season 3, "the balance has shifted and it’s grown into, above all else, a spectacular showcase for Thede, the most influential and exciting figure in sketch at the moment. She leads a strong cast, including stalwarts Ashley Nicole Black and Gabrielle Dennis as well as the more recent addition Skye Townsend. It’s worth remembering that it wasn’t that long ago that the title sequence of this show included as many Black women as could be found in the casts of four decades of Saturday Night Live."

    TOPICS: Robin Thede, HBO, A Black Lady Sketch Show