Exclusive: ‘2 Dope Queens’ Jessica Williams & Phoebe Robinson Talk HBO Special

Actress Jessica Williams and comedian Phoebe Robinson give us an exclusive look at their new HBO special “2 Dope Queens.” 

The hit comedy podcast 2 Dope Queens, featuring Jessica Williams (The Incredible Jessica James) and Phoebe Robinson (Broad City), comes to HBO for a series of four hour-long specials. We caught up with the Queens to see how they prepared to bring the fire for their first HBO 4 part special. Check out our interviews with them after the jump.

The Knockturnal: You are creative AF. What do you draw from?

Jessica Williams: Thank you. I think it draws from the emotions that I feel, like on any given day. Sometimes I wake up and I’m super petty I’m like “what’s wrong with the world?” But then some days I wake up and I’m feeling lit and I want to just talk about politics and race and some days I want to talk about being a woman. I think there’s many facets to being intersectional and I think a part of it is honoring all of those sides and that’s the beauty of it and I think that is what I pull from just my personal experience in every aspect of what my identity is.

The Knockturnal: Is there anything you won’t ever talk about? Is there a subject or topic you shy away from?

Jessica Williams: For the most part we kind of like letting anything fly, but I think being respectful of personal relationships like my boyfriend. Like we’ll tell some things and I know Phoebe’s like that too, but we won’t just say any of the super personal things because that’s not really our story to tell. Stories about other people it’s like, no tell your own stories … it’s just like what’s the point of bullying or kicking people when they’re down, it’s just so lame and also that sucks, so we try not to do that.

The Knockturnal: And then HBO is known for putting some great comedians on, who are some of your other favorite comedians that you love?

Jessica Williams: I grew up watching SNL in the 90s and so I love Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Cheri Oteri, Ana Gasteyer … there are just so many amazing women on that show and I also just love Whoopi Goldberg, I’ve loved her since I was a kid, I think she’s incredible and her Back to Broadway special is something that’s one of the best things ever made. And then all the comedians on our special too are great. Naomi Ekperigin, Michelle Buteau, women like Sasheer Zamata, Aparna Nancherla there’s just so many great female comedians out there right now.

The Knockturnal: Speaking of that, you have some great comedians on the show, how important was it to share the spotlight with your fellow comedians because you guys share it very generously.

Jessica Williams: Yeah! Super important. I think we started out doing this podcast as a stand-up showcase and we always want to make sure we have a woman, or a person of color, a member of the LGBTQ community doing sets on our show because I think comedy a lot of the times is a straight white man’s world. I think we are here and the importance of getting more success and doing something for HBO specials is … sometimes you have to pull people up with you. And those people are so funny, they’re like as funny and funnier than we are.

The Knockturnal: Right, they make you look good.

Jessica Williams: Yes they make us look good, but also it’s an honor to be able to ask people that we’ve admired and that we’re fans of to be like “hey, can you come do a set on our show because we love you?” And that rules, so it’s really important.


The Knockturnal: What does one do to prepare for a four-part HBO series?

Phoebe Robinson: I started a juice cleanse the day before and then I quit it halfway through so …I just started with failure, and then it was just only up from there. But Jessica and I have been doing our comedy and just like working on it and we’re just having fun. We just wanna be chill and happy.

The Knockturnal: What topics do you guys tackle?

Phoebe Robinson: Jessica and I talk about dating, her New York apartment, my boobs. They’re small, so they need the love because people don’t see them so I have to advertise for them. I’m like their PR. So just all those fun, silly topics, and then we have fun celebrity interviews with Jon Stewart, Uzo Aduba, Tituss Burgess, and Sarah Jessica Parker where we teach her about black hair, so that is a must see moment.

The Knockturnal: Who do you look up to in terms of inspiration for your comedy?

Phoebe Robinson:  Oh my God. So easy. Wanda Sykes! I love Tig Notaro, who directed all four specials. I love Margaret Cho, Chris Rock obviously… Dave Chappelle. There are just so many great comedians. Then you have sketch comedians like  Maya Rudolph who has a one woman show, so I would love to work with her one day. So Maya, if you are listening I’m  avail, always.

The Knockturnal: And what’s your advice for the next set of Queens coming out?

Phoebe Robinson: Don’t take yourself too seriously. Work really hard. Make sure you always lotion. Sometimes I forget my feet, and I run out the door, and it’s not good. Sojourner Truth would be very disappointed. So just make sure you moisturize, and that you have fun. You only have one life to live. Do what the hell you want to do, and just really go for it.


The Knockturnal: Broderick Hunter! Last time we saw you, you were on Insecure. What are you working on right now?

Broderick Hunter: Yeah, we’ve got everything going on right now. We’re still in the fashion industry, we’re doing acting projects right now, we have a few movies going out. Also, in Issa’s camp right now, we’re discussing new projects regarding the new season and also her new shows that she has revamping with HBO. So, there’s a lot of cool things in the works, so we’re just gonna see what happens this year. It’s gonna be an exciting year.

The Knockturnal: What is a cool thing about Issa that we don’t know?

Broderick Hunter: You know what, I hope she doesn’t kill me … she is hella ratchet. Oh, my God, that girl can go. She just throws the best parties, so I’ve seen her cool side and her professional side.

The Knockturnal: What can fans expect from the next season of Insecure?

Broderick Hunter: I can’t say because we’re still working on the script as well so we’re gonna find out more, a lot more. You guys probably know more than I do right now regarding storylines and stuff like that. It’s very under wraps right now. So, I don’t even know what’s happening with me, so … I can’t say nothin’. Just keep an eye open right now.

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