'2 Dope Queens' Podcast Signs Off With Michelle Obama Interview

Courtesy of Chuck Kennedy
Michelle Obama on '2 Dope Queens' with Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson

Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson are ending their popular show with an extended interview with the former first lady.

Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson are ending their popular WNYC comedy podcast 2 Dope Queens.

The comedic duo, who adapted their acclaimed show into a live tour and series of HBO specials, made the announcement Wednesday while also revealing that their final interview is with Michelle Obama, who is currently making the rounds to discuss her Becoming memoir.

"Hi, boo boos," begins a letter from the co-hosts and executive producers to fans. "We’ve got some big news, so you might want to sit back like Wendy Williams about to serve the tea.... In the words of Boyz II Men, it’s the 'end of the road.'"

The Obama interview went live Wednesday — "we couldn’t have dreamed up a better, more meaningful, finale," says the pair — and the next round of 2 Dope Queens specials will air in 2019 on HBO. The first four aired in February. 

The Obama interview is the first new 2 Dope Queens episode since December 2017. The stand-up and storytelling podcast debuted at No. 1 on iTunes in April 2016 and stayed there for a week.

"Our show started in a hot basement in Brooklyn and now we’re selling out theaters across the country. We could not have done it without you," Williams and Robinson continued in their sign-off note. "The podcast was created as a space for female, POC and LGBTQ performers to shine (and for Phoebe to teach you all about why Bono is, in fact, great). We — and by we, we mean YOU — showed the world that people want and need to hear more diverse voices."

Paula Szuchman, vp on-demand content at WNYC Studios added, “The Queens’ honest and intimate comedy, their FOMO-inducing friendship, and the diverse voices they invited into the spotlight has made the show more than a podcast. It is truly a phenomenon. We are proud to have been a part of it, and the Queens will always have a home at WNYC Studios."

Over their 49 episodes (and 20 bonus episodes), the 2 Dope Queens podcast employed a largely female staff. The same went for the Brooklyn stage show, which featured guest performers ranging from Sarah Jessica Parker and Uzo Aduba to Vanessa Bayer, and has been directed by Tig Notaro. 

Williams, who hails from The Daily Show, and Robinson have been busy on both the little and big screens in the past year. After an acclaimed turn in The Incredible Jessica James, Williams will next be seen in films Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Booksmart and Corporate Animals. Robinson, who comes from The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore and who is a New York Times best-selling author, has appeared on Comedy Central's Broad City and TBS' Search Party, Amazon's I Love Dick and Netflix's Ibiza. Next, she appears on the big screen in What Men Want. Robinson also hosts the WNYC Studios podcast Sooo Many White Guys.

During their wide-ranging chat with Obama, the pair discuss hair and politics, women and anger, motherhood and Obama's famous "when they go low, we go high" moment. 

“I'm not gonna pretend like I'm not angry. But if I'm trying to move an issue, if my anger doesn't work to move the issue, then it's not helpful. … And that's what going high means. Going high means you don't ignore it. Going high doesn't mean you don't acknowledge the fear. … Usually your goal isn't to just be angry," Obama tells the pair in the episode. "Every word I uttered on the campaign trail was picked apart and it was analyzed and oftentimes incorrectly. … I had to control my voice so that it wouldn't be misinterpreted. And I still do."

The former first lady also explains why she would rather have brunch with Oprah than go to a Beyonce concert: “I pick the brunch, not because I don't love Beyonce concerts. As you know, I go to all of them, and I love watching my girl perform, but I choose a conversation. …You can't do that at a concert.”

Listen to the episode below.