2 Dope Queens
“Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams are funny. They’re black. They’re BFFs. And they host a live comedy show in Brooklyn. Join the 2 Dope Queens, along with their favorite comedians, for stories about sex, romance, race, hair journeys, living in New York, and Billy Joel. Plus a whole bunch of other shit.”
The self-description of 2 Dope Queens does a fairly good job explaining just what the show is, so I’ll let that speak for itself and start with talking about the format. The format of 2 Dope Queens is generally a sort of prologue in the form of a conversation between the two hosts on stage which is usually filled with funny anecdotes pulled from their lives and expounded on, with no expletives unspoken. This is followed by the introduction of a guest comic and a 10-15 minute stand-up set. Then, rinse and repeat 2-3 times. It’s a simple formula that keeps the show funny af. Yes, that’s right, I just used ‘af’ there. And I hope Phoebe and Jessica would be proud of me for it, because one of the funniest (or most annoying, if you’re a wet blanket) running gags of the show is the continual use of abbreviations (abbreevs) thrown out by the hosts, which reaches levels of absurdity I’ve rarely encountered. Phoebe and Jessica are funny, according to the show’s self-description. But they’re funny because of their absurdity. That’s by no means a jab or a backhanded compliment--I truly enjoy when comedians are willing to take a joke to the end of its logical absurdity.
What’s more, Phoebe and Jessica are blunt. They’re not pulling any punches, and they’re oftentimes using their lived experiences to expose everyday injustices in a humorous way that demonstrates their point without alienating their audience. Further, they use the platform of their show to give underrepresented comedians a chance to have their voices heard, and those voices are also funny af. This is one of the podcasts that’s made me literally laugh out loud the most (garnering stares when listening in public).
The only real criticism I have about the show is when it strays from its tried-and-true formula and instead features a live interview on stage with a celebrity (Jon Stewart and Jon Hamm come to mind), talk show style. It’s not that the interviews aren’t good. They are. But they’re not great, which is what the show, generally speaking, is.
Note: this review was written following the early seasons of the show and is not necessarily representative of later seasons. Additionally, the show has since been picked up by HBO.
Start with the first season and work your way up.
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