So, I was checking out Refinery 29 and came across this interview and photoshoot of the awesome Issa Rae of the Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl web series. The fly comedian talked about her new show, produced by Shonda Rhimes of Scandal fame, that will be hitting ABC soon. The new comedy is called I Hate LA Dudes, and if its anywhere near as funny as Awkward Black Girl, it already has one fan.
If you're like me, you're just about ready to catch up on the episodes of Awkward Black Girl that you haven't seen. I'll make it easy for you - here's the link. Yeah, you're welcome. :)
A taste of the interview is below but you can get the whole she-bang here.
In the very first episode of ABG, we can't get over [the fact] that J's boyfriend dumps her for cutting her hair super short (um, ow!). What's your philosophy on your hair and how you style it?
Cutting my hair is the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. My boyfriend was so mad when I cut it, but I have never felt so free in my life. Hair is SUCH a big deal and, in the black community especially, hair length is major. So, to be like, 'Eff all that,' and just get rid of it all was so liberating for me.
It seems like this is a conversation people are still having, and we want you to have the final word. We have one male comedian friend (name withheld in case he gets mauled after this gets published) who says that pretty woman are rarely good comedians because they never get exposed to the same level of heckling that novice comedians go through when doing stand up. As a pretty lady comedian (gorgeous, even) how do you respond?
Hahaha! Thank you for the compliment. I didn’t grow up feeling pretty at all. In fact, my mom would ALWAYS scold me for not putting effort into my appearance (even when I thought I was). I was (and kinda still am) a tomboy, so my looks don’t really play a factor in my comedy. I think funny is funny. If you’re looking for reasons not to laugh, you won’t — plain and simple. Comedy is just as subjective as beauty.
While your work is universally hilarious and relatable, it's also been entertainment that breaks racial stereotypes. Was that something you specifically set out to do or did it just happen organically through your story telling?
I definitely wanted to break racial stereotypes. Repetitive stereotypes in the mainstream have been irking me for a long time, so I wanted to create something to combat it. I never imagined that my portrayal would catch on as it has, but I’m really happy to have offered something different.