Directed by Tig Notaro (“One Mississippi”), the show debuts Feb. 2, and features guests stars Uzo Aduba (“Orange Is the New Black”), Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), Sarah Jessica Parker (“Sex and the City”) and Jon Stewart (“The Daily Show”).
The four themed episodes are:
“New York,” with Jon Stewart (Feb. 2)
“Hair,” with Sarah Jessica Parker (Feb. 9)
“Hot Peen,” with Tituss Burgess (Feb. 16)
“Black Nerds” (aka “Blerds”), with Uzo Aduba (Feb. 23)
“We really wanted to capture the excitement that goes with nerdiness, and there’s an excitement that goes with fantasy and whimsy that I think, back in the day, it was, like, difficult for black people to publicly enjoy them,” says Williams of “black nerds.”
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Robin and Williams, who also serve as EP’s on the series said they’re “keeping it hot, fresh and sexy for HBO.”
“An HBO comedy special is, like, the pinnacle of comedy,” Williams says. “So we were really excited to work with HBO. And I remember the first meeting we had with them. When we sat down, we were like, “Okay. So what do you guys want us to do? How can we do this different?” They were like, “We just want you guys to do the podcast.” So HBO was amazing because they gave us free creative reign,” she explains. “And I feel like they really honored our voices and gave us the freedom to do what we normally do but with a makeup and wig budget, which was so tight.”
When one critic comments on the surprising number of white people in the audience, in a special clip, Williams responds, “I think the truth resonates. Truth in comedy is important, and truth is universal. And my favorite thing is when I get white dudes who come up to me and are, like, “I really love ‘2 Dope Queens.'” I’m, like, “Look at you.”
On the topic of “blerds”… or, “black nerds,” the ladies were asked how they differ from white or Asian nerds.
“Growing up as a person of color, as a black girl in the suburbs, all I wanted to do was play The Sims and read “Harry Potter.” And a lot of my experience growing up was having a lot of my cousins or the black kids that I went to school with call me a nerd or say that I acted white, which, you know, now that I’m older, doesn’t make any sense,” Williams explains.
“It’s kind of progress for us to be able to nerd out and geek out on frivolous things that are really just made up. It’s nice to not just be us stressed out about how horrible the world is all the time.”
“And I think with shows like “Insecure” and our show, I think people are realizing that there are so many layers to the black female experience,” Robinson adds. I think being a blerd, or black nerd, is a part of that. And I think that this show, when we have the black nerd episode, it’s helping to highlight that.”
“Absolutely,” Williams co-signs. “And that’s what’s great, because on our show, we try to have standups and storytellers that are usually women, people of color, or members of the LGBTQ community, because I think oftentimes people see black women or queer people, and they sort of put them in a label and assume that they’re all the same, or they end up on a show or in a movie as support or, a token character, you know, helping the main character, who is probably a straight, white male. But in this we try to have multiple people of color because we are so different and we are so unique and our voices are not the same. So it’s really awesome to be able to highlight that in the specials.”