Two comedians perform as '2 Dope Queens'

Comedy duo Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson join the Jorgensen audience on Tuesday, March 29, for a laid-back but knee-jerking night of standup comedy. Williams has previously worked on "The Daily Show," and Robinson on "Broad City." (Akshara Thejaswi/The Daily Campus)

The Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts was filled with laughter Tuesday night, March 28 as 2 Dope Queens performed their first college comedy show. The pair of comedians, who host a podcast together, are made up of: actress Jessica Williams who is a former senior correspondent for The Daily Show under Trevor Noah and Phoebe Robinson, also an actress, starring in the show Broad City on Comedy Central.

The opening act featured up and coming comedian Nore Davis, who has been featured on Comedy Central as well as MTV. Davis, in what seemed to be a structured and talented performance, tackled the issues of fatherhood, life as a 30 year old man and police brutality. Davis who has been featured on the 2 Dope Queens podcast, received many laughs and applause.

When it was time for the main event, in opposition to Davis’ performance, the 2 Dope Queens seemed to be much more relaxed and spontaneous. The show gave off a vibe of improvisation. This was due mostly in part by the audience's involvement in the produced content.

In one instance the pair asked if anyone from the crowd knew about a haunting on campus. One girl came running to the stage with a situation in mind. She explained how the third floor of Holcomb on East Campus is the victim of an apparent haunting.

Upon learning that the girl lived on the haunted floor the two comedians burst into fanatics, with Williams shouting “Girl you got to get out!” followed by Robinson echoing “Get out!”. From there they took the time to re-enact a new viral challenge coined from the recent film called “Get out” that is composed of sprinting in a straight line (usually at a camera) and jolting away at the last second.

At one point in the show couples became a target for the two comedians. One couple in particular, Anshi Nayyar and Mike Powell, found themselves in the crosshairs of Williams and Robinsons’ crowd infused jokes.

After realizing that Nayyar and Powell are an interracial couple, Robinson cracked a joke, asking the couple “What filter do you use for pictures? That’s very important” said Robinson “Don’t marry him unless he knows the right filters for your f*cking photos.”

Powell, a graduate of the University of Connecticut, jokingly responded “I’m pale, so she always messes with me.”

Despite being subjected to the comedic spotlight Nayyar enjoyed the show “It was really smart and witty,” said Nayyar, a pharmacy major, “I listened to one of their podcasts before.”    

Powell loved the attention “I thought it was funny because I knew she (Nayyar) didn’t want to be involved at all, and I think it’s cool to interact in these kind of settings with people who are leading the show, it’s just fun.”

While the show was in fact about comedy, it was clear that the event and 2 Dope Queens overall message reached much deeper than the hysterics that were produced.

“I feel like our mission with the show is always just to do comedy and highlight voices that don’t get much mainstream (attention),” said Robinson following up on a question. “We talk about different stuff than the typical things you might hear from white comics all the time. So I think we really just decided, with the country the way it is, it's a really stressful time for lots of different people who are feeling even more marginalized than usual. We just want to stay on message, and keep being that bright spot in people's days.”


John Moreno is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at john.moreno@uconn.edu.