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A Black Lady Sketch Show season 1, episode 4 recap: Where are my background singers?

A Black Lady Sketch Show continues its first season with a legendary guest star!

Let’s check in on the event. The stars of A Black Lady Sketch Show, Robin Thede, Gabrielle Dennis, Quinta Brunson and Ashley Nicole Black sit around a coffee table, six hours after the mysterious event, playing Uno.

They argue over what rules to play with and Black launches into a disturbing story about the racist backstory to the phrase “the hill you want to die on.”

Of course, she caps her story by saying “uno,” much to the frustration of everyone else.

Black continues to dominate the other three in games. Uno, Jenga, dominos—even when the other three cheat, they can’t beat her. As punishment Black is going to make them watch Glee.

Tough on Drugs

This episode of A Black Lady Sketch Show opens with Dennis at a small party with three friends. They’re doing drugs and celebrating when Thede starts to have a really bad trip. Thede panics and starts to call the police. That’s when everything shifts.

It quickly becomes a horror movie as Dennis will go through any and all lengths to keep the police from finding her around drugs.

Long story short, everyone winds up murdered by Dennis, including a cop and a guy who just happened to be driving by at the wrong moment.

The turn at the end is that Dennis, who is finishing off dropping the dead bodies to the bottom of a lake, is running for city council and this is an add proving she is “tough on drugs.”

Get it? It’s dark.

(Guest stars: Niccole Thurman, Tia Mowry and Anisha Tee Gibb)

Rome & Julissa

Yes, this is a play on Romeo and Juliet and yes it is done in rhyming couplets and YES it is brilliant.

Rome (guest star Tyler James Williams) and Julissa (Brunson) catch eyes across the dance floor. They quickly realize their love cannot be because Rome’s family likes Nicki Minaj and Julissa’s likes Cardi B.

A key quote from their conundrum: “For whom, dear Rome, will our children twerk?”

They sneak off together while their families are distracted by being angry with the DJ. Thankfully, rather than the ending foolish Shakespeare wrote, Rome and Julissa merely commit social suicide to be together—removing their Instagram bios that state which artist they stan.

They watch the follower counts drop and leave together.

Negro League Groupies

One of the more underwhelming sketches from A Black Lady Sketch Show so far. It features small guest appearances from Issa Rae and Natasha Rothwell and centers around Thede.

The three are groupies for the Negro League. Well, groupies-slash-scam artists. The sketch is basically just them talking a player into taking them to New York City on his dime. The end of the sketch shows their pictures on display in the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

To the sketch’s credit, though, it’s a nice, subtle way to look at how poorly black people were treated even though they were paving the way. In the sketch, these three women paved the way for groupies. But putting them across from Negro League baseball players highlights the fact that they paved the way in baseball and many other black people paved the way in their own industries.

Customer Disservice

Short and sweet. Dennis is stranded in an airport and needs to find a flight home. She keeps calling customer service and hanging up until she finally reaches the one black person who works there (Brunson).

She’s so relieved, thinking this will finally allow her to get real help. The two bond and, surprise, turns out they’re actually cousins! Everything is looking up for Dennis!

Whelp, then Brunson drops the anvil and says that she still can’t get Dennis home because there are no more flights. Brunson hangs up on Dennis.

On My Own

Ok, now this, this was a good sketch, not least because Patti freakin’ Labelle is in it.

Black is in the midst of begging her boyfriend (Coley Mustafa Speaks) not to break up with her. Once his mind is finally, officially made up, we find out why. Every time Black is broken up with, Patti Labelle shows up (really, actually shows up—magic) and starts singing “On My Own” and will. not. stop.

She even brings backup singers.

Speaks, of course, loves it. He grabs a selfie with her and starts dancing. Black is exasperated and begs Labelle to just leave. She won’t though. It’s not until Black breaks down and sings with her that Labelle and the backup singers leave.

It’s as if Black finds a new strength in singing with Labelle because when Speaks has a “change of heart” all of a sudden (surely has nothing to do with the legendary singer), Black readily and easily kicks him out. She’s ready to be on her own.

Inside a Black Lady’s Mind: Catcalling

“What happens to a twerk unnoticed? Does it dry up like a raisin?”

Dennis is confronted with a man sitting on a stoop she’s about to walk past. Brunson (insecurity), Black (taskmaster) and Thede (turnt) are the voices inside her head. The voices argue about the best way to approach the situation.

After Dennis walks past, the man calls out to her. Finally the three voices unite with a stance and come up with something to say to the man. Buuuuut, turns out he just wanted to get her attention because her skirt was caught in her underwear.

What did you think of this episode of A Black Lady Sketch Show? Let us know in the comments!