A Black Lady Sketch Show

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A Black Lady Sketch Show
This is the title card for A Black Lady Sketch Show. The type is large and sans serif and the font color is white; the background is light pink and each letter has a drop shadow.
GenreSketch comedy
Created byRobin Thede
Written by
Directed byDime Davis
Opening theme"Hot Girl" by Megan Thee Stallion
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes6 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Running time26 minutes
Production company(s)HBO Entertainment
Issa Rae Productions
Original networkHBO
Original releaseAugust 2, 2019 (2019-08-02) –

A Black Lady Sketch Show is an HBO sketch comedy show created by Robin Thede. The show consists of comedy sketches performed by a main cast of African-American female comedians that comprise executive producer Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Quinta Brunson, and Gabrielle Dennis, as well as guests, which include executive producer Issa Rae, Angela Bassett, Laverne Cox, and Nicole Byer.[1] A Black Lady Sketch Show premiered with a season of six episodes on August 2, 2019, to "universal acclaim" according to review aggregator Metacritic.[2][3][4] At the end of August, the show was renewed for a second season by HBO.[5]



No.Title [6]Directed by [6]Written by [6]Original air date [6]U.S. viewers
1"Angela Bassett Is the Baddest Bitch"Dime DavisLauren Ashley Smith, Robin Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Akilah Green, Brittani Nichols, Amber Ruffin, Rae Sanni and Holly WalkerAugust 2, 2019 (2019-08-02)0.334[7]

Series premiere. Two women seek an escape from an ominous fog. 1960s soul group Claude and The Boppers perform their hit song "Ice Cream Shop." A world-renowned author and "philosophizer" promotes her latest masterclass. Maya's confession in a support group gets a less-than-supportive response. Trinity, the Invisible Spy, meets a formidable adversary. Drea confronts a mysterious woman stealing her dance moves at a club. Fun and games lead to tension, as Robin, Ashley, Quinta and Gabrielle are stuck in a house after an end-of-the-world event.

Guest Starring: Angela Bassett, Nicole Byer, Laverne Cox, Phil LaMarr, Yvonne Orji, Kelly Rowland, Gina Torres
2"Your Boss Knows You Don't Have Eyebrows"Dime DavisLauren Ashley Smith, Robin Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Akilah Green, Brittani Nichols, Amber Ruffin, Rae Sanni and Holly WalkerAugust 9, 2019 (2019-08-09)0.308[8]

A perpetually-late-to-work Shayla decides to forgo her morning makeup routine, to her coworker Toni's dismay. Trinity the Invisible Spy hunts down The Recluse, an elusive villain with a surprising identity. An array of average, awkward contestants perform before a panel of judges at the Basic Ball. Security guard Fatimah helps an office worker investigate who stole her missing mug. Robin, Quinta and Gabrielle uncover a shocking truth about Ashley's nighttime ritual.

Guest Starring: Nicole Byer, Loretta Devine, Aja Naomi King, Caldwell Tidicue, Lena Waithe
3"3rd & Bonaparte Is Always in the Shade"Dime DavisLauren Ashley Smith, Robin Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Akilah Green, Brittani Nichols, Amber Ruffin, Rae Sanni and Holly WalkerAugust 16, 2019 (2019-08-16)0.351[9]

Asia is shocked by a very public, very unexpected marriage proposal from her new boyfriend DeWayne. New recruits talk about their goals and expectations at a gang orientation. A church service devolves when congregants take to the mic with self-centered motivations. Dr. Haddassah Olayinka Ali-Youngman turns a toast at her sister's wedding into a teachable moment. Gabrielle, Ashley, Quinta and Robin bond while discussing their ideal men and some of their worst dates.

Guest Starring: Essence Atkins, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Jermaine Fowler, Marla Gibbs, David Alan Grier, Jackée Harry, Issa Rae, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Hal Williams, Larry Wilmore
4"Where Are My Background Singers?"Dime DavisLauren Ashley Smith, Robin Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Akilah Green, Brittani Nichols, Amber Ruffin, Rae Sanni and Holly WalkerAugust 23, 2019 (2019-08-23)0.332[10]

A divorce party spirals out of control following Eboni's bad mushroom trip. The tragic tale of star-crossed lovers, Rome & Julissa. A 1930's groupie, Feather Atwood, sets her sights on Negro League baseball player Satchel Paige. A frustrated airline passenger seeks a like-minded customer service representative. Denise tries to prevent yet another breakup and its typical, unusual side effect. "Taskmaster," "Insecurity" and "Turnt" help Crystal navigate a possible cat-calling situation. Quinta, Gabrielle, Robin and Ashley lay down odd rules while playing cards to pass the time.

Guest Starring: Patti LaBelle, Phil LaMarr, Tia Mowry, Issa Rae, Natasha Rothwell, Tyler James Williams
5"Why Are Her Pies Wet, Lord?"Dime DavisLauren Ashley Smith, Robin Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Akilah Green, Brittani Nichols, Amber Ruffin, Rae Sanni and Holly WalkerAugust 30, 2019 (2019-08-30)0.278[11]

Four friends on a camping trip unknowingly disprove a stereotype. A pastor tries to take back control of his church potluck. A flight attendant struggles to get compliance from newlyweds Chris and Lachel in the exit row. Elementary school students notice a change in their teacher Ms. Miller. Jackie receives a less-than-warm welcome when she returns to her hometown high school. Robin, Quinta, Ashley and Gabrielle discuss their weird turn-ons and stage an intervention.

Guest Starring: Khandi Alexander, Deon Cole, David Alan Grier, Garrett Morris, Yvonne Orji, Issa Rae, Amber Riley
6"Born at Night, But Not Last Night"Dime DavisLauren Ashley Smith, Robin Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Akilah Green, Brittani Nichols, Amber Ruffin, Rae Sanni and Holly WalkerSeptember 6, 2019 (2019-09-06)0.255[12]

Season One Finale. Two friends come to regret their decision to visit a new black-owned restaurant. A mother and daughter go toe-to-toe in the latest episode of "Get the Belt." "Taskmaster," "Turnt" and "Insecurity" help Krystal through a surprise hot-air balloon ride. Carl and Lori's "special guest" has very specific boundaries. A judge, bailiff, court reporter and attorneys celebrate their first ever all-black lady courtroom. Tensions rise between Ashley, Gabrielle, Quinta and Robin as the reality of their situation sinks in.

Guest Starring: Yvette Nicole Brown, Lil Rel Howery, Phil LaMarr, Marsai Martin, Issa Rae, Amber Riley, Natasha Rothwell, Arjay Smith, Bresha Webb



In the summer of 2018, Thede invited her close friends and fellow comediennes Quinta Brunson, Ashley Nicole Black, and Gabrielle Dennis to help her develop a comedy series.[13] Thede then pitched the series to HBO as a way to address the dearth of Black women's representation in the American comedic landscape. Thede was encouraged by HBO executives to push boundaries and take risks with the show.[13]

The show was originally titled The Black Lady Sketch Show but the name was changed to encourage audiences that the series is a single representation of Black women in comedy.[13] The show is thought to be the first sketch comedy series written, produced, and starring Black women.[14]

On January 28, 2019, it was announced that HBO had ordered a half-hour sketch show, A Black Lady Sketch Show, written and created by Robin Thede.[15] Issa Rae is the co-executive producer with Thede through Issa Rae Productions.[16]The series' director is Dime Davis.[17]


Lauren Ashley Smith is the show's head writer, and additional writers are Brittani Nichols, Rae Sanni, Holly Walker, Amber Ruffin and Akilah Green.[18][17] Cast members Ashley Nicole Black, Gabrielle Dennis, and Quinta Brunson also write for the show.[16] It is the first television series to have a writer's room entirely composed of Black women.[13]


The series premiered on August 2, 2019.[14][3] On August 27, 2019, HBO announced that A Black Lady Sketch Show had been renewed for a second season.[5]


A Black Lady Sketch Show has received positive critical reception. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the first season of A Black Lady Sketch Show holds an approval rating of 100%, with an average rating of 8.88/10 based on 20 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "Singular, subversive, and simply hilarious, A Black Lady Sketch Show[19] finds universal humor in specific spaces to craft quick-witted sketches that perfectly showcase Robin Thede and her talented cast." According to review aggregator Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, the first season received an assigned score of 89 out of 100 based on reviews from 7 critics, indicating "universal acclaim."[4] In a review by Ali Barthwell for The A.V. Club, she wrote, "A Black Lady Sketch Show possesses a confidence in its first season that suggests the show is not interested in being chopped up into easily consumable chunks. A Black Lady Sketch Show seems more interested in creating a whimsical, loving world for its leads."[20] Writing for Vulture, Jen Chaney stated: "A Black Lady Sketch Show isn’t just funny. Its sketches are consistently clever and surprising, often concluding with twist endings that add a whole other layer to the jokes that had us rolling a couple of minutes ago."[21]


  1. ^ Petski, Nellie Andreeva,Denise; Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (2019-01-28). "HBO Orders Robin Thede's 'A Black Lady Sketch Show' Produced By Issa Rae". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2019-06-15.
  2. ^ "'HBO's A Black Lady Sketch Show Faces Mixed Reviews". That Grape Juice. August 19, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Sketch Comedy Series "A Black Lady Sketch Show" Debuts August 2, Exclusively on HBO". The Futon Critic. July 1, 2019.
  4. ^ a b A Black Lady Sketch Show, retrieved 2019-08-03
  5. ^ a b Thorne, Will (August 27, 2019). "'A Black Lady Sketch Show' Renewed for Season 2 at HBO". Variety. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d "Sketch Comedy Series A BLACK LADY SKETCH SHOW Debuts August 2, Exclusively on HBO". HBO. July 24, 2019. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  7. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (August 5, 2019). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY'S Top 150 Friday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 8.2.2019". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  8. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (August 12, 2019). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY'S Top 150 Friday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 8.9.2019". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  9. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (August 19, 2019). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY'S Top 150 Friday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 8.16.2019". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  10. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (August 26, 2019). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY'S Top 150 Friday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 8.23.2019". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  11. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (September 3, 2019). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY'S Top 150 Friday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 8.30.2019". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  12. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (September 9, 2019). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY'S Top 150 Friday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 9.6.2019". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  13. ^ a b c d Obenson, Tambay; Obenson, Tambay (2019-07-25). "'A Black Lady Sketch Show': For Creator Robin Thede, the Series Is '40 Short Films'". IndieWire. Retrieved 2020-01-04.
  14. ^ a b "HBO's 'A Black Lady Sketch Show': Quinta Brunson, Gabrielle Dennis And Ashley Nicole Black Join Robin Thede In Issa Rae-Produced Series". shadowandact.com. Retrieved 2019-06-15.
  15. ^ "Robin Thede to Star in 'Black Lady Sketch Show' for HBO From Issa Rae". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-06-15.
  16. ^ a b Ewing, Aliya Semper. "A Black Lady Sketch Show Reveals a Cast Ready to Make You Laugh". The Grapevine. Retrieved 2019-06-15.
  17. ^ a b Searles, Juordain (August 2, 2019). "Robin Thede Is Changing the Game With A Black Lady Sketch Show". www.vulture.com. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  18. ^ "Mini Q+A with Brittani Nichols". GOLD Comedy. 2019-03-11. Retrieved 2019-06-15.
  19. ^ "A Black Lady Sketch Show: Season 1" – via www.rottentomatoes.com.
  20. ^ Barthwell, Ali. "A Black Lady Sketch Show offers unfettered access to four dynamic comic minds". TV Club. Retrieved 2019-08-03.
  21. ^ Chaney, Jen (August 2, 2019). "A Black Lady Sketch Show Is Pure, Funny Fire". www.vulture.com. Retrieved August 27, 2019.

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