‘2 Dope Queens’ puts a new take on what it means to be a podcaster

HBO provides another platform for podcasters Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson to voice their opinions, jokes and conversations.

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In a new four-part special from HBO, the comedy podcasters Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson of “2 Dope Queens” trade their typical studio setting for the Kings Theater in Brooklyn. The duo combines the traditional conversationalist style of podcasts with a late-night talk show feel by hosting several comedians and actors.

The show brings on celebrities such as Jon Stewart and Sarah Jessica Parker for an interview and activities and then brings comedians to the stage for their own stand-up acts. In the first episode, “New York,” Williams and Robinson host a talk show-style conversation with previous host of “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart, where they discuss Stewart’s life after “The Daily Show” and reminisce about when Williams and Stewart worked on the show together. They also talk about what they’ve observed after living in New York for the majority of their lives.

“It was easier to get drugs back then,” Stewart says, sending the audience into a fit of laughs.

Williams and Robinson feature comedians that have previously guest-starred on their podcast, such as Michelle Buteau. During her act, Buteau spoke of being married to a white man and confronting her Republican gynecologist, which mimicked the style of Williams and Robinson’s podcast, providing a voice for comedians of color and all sexual orientations.

During the second episode, Williams and Robinson bring Sarah Jessica Parker to the stage to eat a New York-style brunch, discuss black woman hair and share their remaining pastries with the crowd.

As for the other comedians featured on the episode, the nonchalant character Aparna Nancherla talks about how she gets through the day with the Trump administration in charge of the White House, and “Fresh Off the Boat” writer Sheng Wang talks about how to deal with too many ripe avocados and his new health care plan.

“I just got health care that you can use,” Wang said. “It’s a whole different game. I went to see a dermatologist just to see what they do.”

Finishing off the episode with a bang, Williams and Robinson chug a bottle of wine and enjoy each other’s company before bidding goodnight to the audience.

Like many podcasts, this special provides a nice change of pace from a long day of classes and work, reminding the audience that it’s okay to laugh about more serious topics that are presented in our daily lives. I personally enjoy that Williams and Robinson don’t take themselves too seriously and aren’t afraid to mention more personal facts about their lives in order to make members of the audience feel like they are a part of the ongoing stage conversations.

The third episode airs on Feb. 16 at 11:30 p.m. Expect to see Tituss Burgess of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and Uzo Aduba of “Orange is the New Black” in the final two episodes.

Edited by Brooke Collier | bcollier@themaneater.com

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