This January aged me. Between the endless news cycle of sexual harassment and abuse, the literal grey slush that is Toronto in winter and my skin becoming as dry as a desert, I am worn. What felt like a 75-day-long January was made even more torturous by the fact that my fave podcast 2 Dope Queens was not putting out new episodes.
For those who have somehow managed to miss the boat on Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams’s hit-comedy podcast, first of all, how dare you? Second, give your ears a gift and download that shizz asap. The podcast is a mix of delightful banter between these two self-proclaimed BFFs and live recordings from the comedy show they host in Brooklyn.
But the format of their show isn’t like your typical comedy hour. Robinson and Williams literally just talk about stuff—as if they were in line at Starbucks, albeit in a way that is authentic, engaging and hilarious. They might, say, start by disclosing an awkward celebrity crush (Robinson has a serious thing for Bono) veer over into deep discussions about where the eff their careers are going and then come right back to a detailed description of a sweet, sweet outfit that Williams just bought. In this way, even though these queens are celebs, their act feels like the besties in your group text. They also occasionally break up their convos to introduce a diverse array of comedians—which on the podcast have included Tig Notaro and Hasan Minhaj—or a surprise celeb guest, like Gabrielle Union or the cast of Girls Trip.
Trust, I’m not the only one who has a serious friend-crush on these two. You may recognize Robinson from her bestselling book You Can’t Touch My Hair, and Williams got her start on The Daily Show and recently starred in the aptly-named Netflix movie The Incredible Jessica James. After the viral success of their 2 Dope Queens podcast, which is one of the top podcasts on iTunes, HBO turned this legit warm hug for your heart into a four-part special, premiering on Feb. 2. As Robinson would say, “YQY!” (a.k.a. “Yes Queen Yes!).
In a winter that has already felt far too long, this special truly feels like chicken soup for your soul. It’s lighthearted, fun and a completely easy watch. The comedians featured—including Kevin Barnett, Crashing’s Aparna Nancherla and Fresh off the Boat’s Sheng Wang—are literally LOL-worthy. Plus, unlike the podcast, actually getting to watch Robinson and Williams interact on stage, and with some serious A-list surprise guests (*hint* one of the ladies from Sex and the City makes an appearance), will give you life. In an age where women are fighting to be heard and to be able to live in their truth, this HBO special, hosted by two proud Black women being celebrated for their authentic selves, most definitely deserves its crown.
2 Dope Queens will air on HBO Canada Friday nights at 1 a.m., beginning this Friday, Feb. 2