“A Black Lady Sketch Show” ends season 4 with a commitment to chaos and characters that is certain to continue.


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“Check Yo’ Slack Every 5 to Stay Alive”

Aired (HBOMAX) May 19, 2023
Director(s) Bridget Stokes
Creator/Executive Producer Robin Thede
Head Writer(s) Chloé Hilliard
Monique Moses
Cast Robin Thede
Gabrielle Dennis
Skye Townsend
DaMya Gurley
Tamara Jade
Angel Laketa Moore

Recap

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text in this post may contain affiliate links which, if a purchase is made from those sites, we may earn money or products from the company.

In comedy, there’s often a “straight” character, someone to react and try to maintain composure during the chaos. In “A Black Lady Sketch Show,” there is rarely a straight character.

Comedy historically has an eccentric character or an outrageous situation and someone who is serious and gives the most natural response to a situation. “A Black Lady Sketch Show” refuses this structure. Everyone joins in the madness. Everyone gets a chance at a witty line, a goofy accent, a wig, a scream, a silly face, and to play as if no one’s watching.

“Check Yo’ Slack Every 5 to Stay Alive” ends “A Black Lady Sketch Show’s” fourth season, confirming what the show does so well. Yes, it broke barriers and made history with an all-female black comedy sketch show. Yes, it’s won awards for its keen commentary on race and identity and for finding humor in the depressing. But above all, it’s fun. The final episode’s first sketches are stronger than its last few, but A Black Lady Sketch Show can and will continue for a long time.

Sketch 1: Doomteenth

“These corporations are putting raisins in your ancestors’ potato salad.”

Angel Laketa Moore kills off the finale with an infomercial warning about how to stay away from corporations that appropriate Juneteenth. It’s a sharp satire on any company that celebrates diversity only when it benefits that company. Moore’s highly animated energy puts her front and center without losing focus of her or the premise. The sketch is 3 minutes long but is filled with so many visual gags and one-liners that it could be shown in comedy and race studies classes for years.

Sketch 2: WeMurk

“What’s your pronouns, fool?”/ “She/Queen.”

What if gangs took place in the world of tech offices? Two gangs square up against each other after booking the same meeting space in an office. It’s a mad combination of thought and creativity that you’ll only see on this show and can only be pulled off by these ladies. The code-switching gives us quotable lines like “We’ve been bangin’ on Zoom for the past two years!” Guest appearances by Issa Rae and Tracee Ellis Ross as rival gang members make this sketch the immediate standout.

Sketch 3: The Bold and the Cubicle

“How is your wife? Is she dead yet?”

An office sketch in the form of a soap opera parody. The three most experienced women on “A Black Lady Sketch Show” Thede, Dennis, and Townsend – star in another hit with melodramatic hair tosses and eye movements that would be the envy of any soap opera veteran. This sketch fully delivers its premise with a custody battle over an office succulent, Spanish subtitles, and a wedding proposal made with a ring hidden in a stapler.

Sketch 4: Mo Treasure, Mo Problems

“You got more ice on you than a penguin’s asshole.”

What if your friends struck rich and immediately disowned you? While there are a few great lines like “Captain Wavy Jones” or “Shamwow,” the sketch doesn’t explore any new territory but has a great twist at the end, with Townsend’s character striking rich all along.

Sketch 5: Save the Last Twerk

“You might be my next leading lady-slash-alibi.”

What if a ballet dancer went up against a twerk dance group? In a continued trend of women playing terrible yet hilarious men, Townsend delights as the smooth-talking groomer with lines like, “You’re so delicate, you’re like if a daisy has eyeballs.” I’m not fully sure what the sketch was parodying (Save the Last Dance? Black Swan?), but it was still nice to see the featured players get a chance to end the episode.

Last Thoughts:

I didn’t pay much attention to the “Actors Behind the Interview,” but the ongoing joke this season was an extension of the apocalypse storyline from the past seasons. In a twist cliffhanger, the once-president Dr. Hadassah is now a supervillain ready to take over the world with AI. While there’s no closure to this bit, it’s a commitment to the show’s silliness and informs the viewer there’s plenty more where that came from. “A Black Lady Sketch Show” is willing to keep on playing if the viewers keep on watching.

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A Black Lady Sketch Show: Season 4, Episode 6 “Check Yo’ Slack Every 5 to Stay Alive” – Finale Review
Overall
While the last episode starts strong, it ends with two hit-or-miss sketches. But in the world of sketch comedy, A Black Lady Sketch show continues to outsmart and outgoof the majority of comedies.
Highlights
Great satire on corporations as black allies
Unique premises for sketches
Disputable
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