Watch: Our favourite sketch from A Black Lady Sketch Show
The groundbreaking six-episode series is created by Robin Thede (host of BET’s The Rundown with Robin Thede and head-writer for The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore), who executive produces, writes and stars, with Issa Rae (Emmy and Golden Globe nominee for HBO’s Insecure) producing and guest starring.
Every episode, now streaming on Showmax, features four to six sketches framed within an ongoing end-of-the-world storyline that showcases the comedic talents of Thede and her core cast: Emmy winner Ashley Nicole Black (Full Frontal with Samantha Bee), Gabrielle Dennis (Insecure, SWAT) and Quinta Brunson (Quinta vs. Everything).
The impressive line-up of guest stars includes Oscar nominee Angela Bassett, Golden Globe nominees Maria Gibbs and Jackée Harry, Emmy winners Lena Waithe and Loretta Devine, Emmy nominees Laverne Cox and Amber Riley, singer Amara La Negra, and Grammy hall-of-famer Patti LaBelle.
Variety called the show “funny, irreverent, subversive and self-aware,” saying the series is “rife with brilliant bits meant to be shared via social media.”
The show made #18 on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the best TV shows of 2019, with a 100% critics rating. It featured in Best of 2019 lists from AV Club to Los Angeles Times, Salon to Vulture.
As Pop Buzz said, “A Black Lady Sketch Show is sharp, entertaining, and seriously overdue.”
USA Today said, “The lightning-fast sketches manage to be universal and specific, enjoyable by more than just its obvious target demographic, but also serving an audience long ignored by Hollywood.”
That audience made its feelings known loud and clear when HBO posted some taster sketches from the show on Youtube. “I never in my life thought I would see a show with black girl producers, directors, writers, actresses, etc. I’ve been so used to seeing 1 black girl as a side character, and that’s it. I was born in the right time, the humor is on point!” said Youtube commenter ‘Feliciatanktop’.
Why Invisible Spy is our favourite sketch
The love Black is getting (1.2m YouTube views – while being invisible, thank you very much) already seems impressive, but it’s pretty outrageous when you consider who she’s stealing the limelight from in this sketch.
One of our favourite sketches from the show is called Invisible Spy. In the world of international espionage, Trinity’s phantom stealth and ninja-level skipping skills make her a great agent … but you’d never know it. You’d never even see her coming. Because Trinity has the ultimate spy must-have: a “regular-looking face.”
“Ashley Nicole Black is America’s favorite spy,” says Essence. As Thede says in an interview with Black, “She’s badass. She kicks ass. And she uses this thing that other people do as a slight against her as her superpower.”
On “being invisible,” Black, who also wrote the character, says: “It really is how I feel. There’ll be 15 people waiting for coffee and they’ll serve all 14 people and then be like, ‘Ooh, where did you come from?’ People will literally walk into me on the street: ‘Where’d you come from?’ I’m like, “The sidewalk. … Where we all are.’”
The love Black is getting (1.2m YouTube views – while being invisible, thank you very much) already seems impressive, but it’s pretty outrageous when you consider who she’s stealing the limelight from in this sketch:
Brunson, Imagen Award winner Gina Torres (Suits), and Grammy winner Kelly Rowland, not to mention Trinity’s would-be nemesis and unexpected doppelganger, Nicole Byer! Best known as a presenter and star of the Emmy-nominated baking reality show Nailed It!, Byer gets to show off more of her acting and comedy chops here … along with the stealthiest exit ever.
What fans had to say about Invisible Spy
Apart from the hilariously un-ironic comments about how gorgeous former Destiny’s Child star Rowland is (which prove the whole point of the sketch), these are some of our favourite comments:
- “I need a whole MOVIE about this lady. ‘No matter how good you get at this, he won’t notice you’. Real shit. The invisibility of black women, especially big girls.” – cherishdeb
- “As a fat black woman who actually experiences [this] phenomenon, they nailed it.” – Mary Stephens
- “I didn’t even know I needed a sketch where being overlooked is a superpower. I love this show.” – johnnydtractive
- “They really got Gina Torres to come on this show to say “pew, pew, pew” and “skrrrtt”” – ANNIE STORMBORN
- “This is some genius level comedy and observation…freakin hilarious. And it ain’t p.c.!! Love it!” – Luis Angel Flores
- “😭 I felt this on so many levels. I’m definitely an invisible spy… but I died when she had to hold her boobs to hopscotch 😂😂. Story of my life.” – meci hill
- “Yep. They get it. Ironically I felt very seen with this sketch.” – Not From Concentrate 100%
- “😂😂 GOD bless these ladies….. In pain from laughing 😂” – Adelaide Mazhaume
And our personal favourite:
“As an old white guy, may I say… this is the show I didn’t know I needed.” – chas ames