Robin Thede makes it look easy. And as with most great comedians, that sense of effortlessness stems from decades of discipline, setbacks, and perseverance. 

“My [training] was just being a student of all the different types [of comedy], and learning and being fascinated by, like: Holy shit, how do they come up with those jokes?” she says. “A lot of people think you’re just funny in your head, and then it comes out. No. These people work so hard to craft these jokes, and they work them over and over and over.” 

On this episode of In the Envelope: The Actor’s Podcast, Thede walks us through the comedy odyssey that led her to creating and starring on HBO’s groundbreaking “A Black Lady Sketch Show,” which garnered five 2022 Emmy nominations for its third season. 

This episode is brought to you by HBO Max.


Backstage has been the #1 resource for actors and talent-seekers for 60 years. In the Envelope, Backstage’s podcast, features intimate, in-depth conversations with today’s most noteworthy film, television, and theater actors and creators. This is your guide to every aspect of acting, from voiceover and commercial work to casting directors, agents, and more. Full of both know-how and inspiration, In the Envelope airs weekly to cover everything from practical advice on navigating the industry, to how your favorite projects are made, to personal stories of success and failure alike. Join host Vinnie Mancuso, senior editor at Backstage, for this guide on how to live the creative life from those who are doing it every day:

Follow Backstage and In the Envelope on social media:





Looking to get cast? Subscribe here:

Browse Backstage casting listings:

Check out our community-driven virtual programming, The Slate:

Backstage stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement:

Special thanks to...

- Host: Vinnie Mancuso

- Producer: Jamie Muffett

- Social media: Katie Minard, Karen Jenkins

- Design: Mark Stinson, Caitlin Watkins

- Additional support: Kasey Howe, Samantha Sherlock, Benjamin Lindsay, Oriella St. Louis

Podden och tillhörande omslagsbild på den här sidan tillhör Backstage. Innehållet i podden är skapat av Backstage och inte av, eller tillsammans med, Poddtoppen.