Keke Palmer interviews Abbott Elementary creator and star Quinta Brunson on her new Amazon Music podcast, Baby, this is Keke Palmer (listen to the full ep HERE), and the two TV queens talked about their favorite sitcoms, share their “unpopular opinion” about a show they just can’t get behind, their issues with Twitter and how people “rip apart” TV shows from the past, and the shared love between themselves and Issa Rae.
Why the Twitter threads around classic sitcoms like Fresh Prince break Quinta’s heart (full clip – 37:59-43:12)
Keke: “I watch on Twitter and I see, you know, our old sitcoms that people have loved. You know what I mean? Like from Girlfriends to, you know, The Parkers or any of these shows, I start to see them slowly be torn apart… Man girl like for Girlfriends, it’s like girlfriends as a sitcom. It was the whole irony. Like, that’s the other thing about sitcoms is they’re ironic… what do you think has happened in society that the nuances of sitcom being that way is something that people can’t sometimes, sometimes can’t take?
Quinta: No, Keke, I don’t know. But it breaks my heart, man. It’s so strange. I don’t know why there’s this inclination to rip apart things from the past. Like, I don’t know why it makes me really sad. And it’s one of the main reasons I personally had to come off Twitter. I can’t see that anymore. I can’t take it. And no one saying you can’t interrogate the art of the past. No one’s saying that. But there’s, I once again, this like, kind of lack of respect for craft in the time and yes, what the world was at the end, if we can’t embrace and appreciate our history, that’s not just TV, but that’s just period, then we’re not going to move forward in a positive way. And honestly, I think that’s what we’re seeing now. I think we’re having trouble moving forward because people are really – they just insist on tearing the past to shreds.”
Quinta: “One of the things that pushed me off Twitter, like I was like, I can’t do this on my phone anymore, because it’s just like, not good for my brain as a creator, because it makes you scared… I remember seeing a thread of people tearing apart Uncle Phil from Fresh Prince.
Keke: What… for what reason?
Quinta: Because he was a Republican. And I was like, okay, yes, I understand. But at the time that this was made, right, at the time that this show was made in the 90s, the political landscape was so different. It may to us be like, what, how dare they do that? Why did they do that? He was trash. He was a Republican, but at the time, the fact of the matter was, that was a compelling character on television. And it’s not like the show was about him.
Keke: And how about it, they’re about opposing stories – didn’t just as much as Uncle Phil helped Will, Will helped Uncle Phil. Y’all didn’t get the fact that they were supposed to be opposites? The two-dimensional point of view of sitcom characters is for the lessons to be easily learned, it’s a part of the style.
Quinta: You have to have a story. You can’t have a story if everybody is the exact same person.
Keke: Come on, and that’s what we’re getting sometimes now.
Quinta: Exactly, that’s why a lot of content is coming out, so one-sided and not compelling.
Keke: …..everybody is always trying to make sure they are saying the right things. And you know, I’m down with it all. And it’s like, well, it’s okay to have a character that’s not down with at all because that also teaches us as a viewer, what to do in that scenario.”
Unpopular opinion: What sitcom Quinta and Keke don’t like – that everyone else loves (full clip – 48:00-51:07)
Keke: “So what is your unpopular opinion about a famous sitcom? Meaning is there any sitcom out there that everybody loves that you’re like, you know, I just, I just didn’t get it.
Quinta: …I have two opinions, I forgot which one would give me respect and which one will get me canceled? Okay, I’m gonna go with the one that will give me a little bit of respect, but also canceled. I do this a lot – I will watch a show from beginning to end to understand why it is funny. And I’ll know that it’s funny, on paper. I’ll be like, I understand, mathematically that this is funny…. But, I could not sink my teeth into Schitt’s Creek.
Quinta: I couldn’t get it’s like, no one a guy is like, no one man is fine. And like, you know, he’s fine. And everybody has a crush on him. You’re not quite seeing it. And you’re like, let me – let me spend some time with him to understand. And it’s like, I get on paper. Why? Why you’re so well-liked, but it’s just not hitting for me. Yeah, I felt that way about Schitt’s Creek. And I mean, I have watched it so many times. And trust me, I get that it is funny, but it’s, it didn’t capture me like that. And I think that’s okay. I’m sure people feel that way about Abbott and many other shows. And – but that’s probably my most controversial opinion. But you know, everyone when they’re so talented, and I’m a fan of their performances, and they’re all just incredibly good, but it just never caught for your girl.”
Quinta’s unexpected love for “King of Queens” (full clip – 46:42 – 48:00)
Keke: “If you had to live in a world from a famous sitcom, where would you live?
Quinta: I love this… Alright, so there’s a show I love that is – have you ever seen King of Queens?
Keke: Girl? Yes.
Quinta: That’s my show. Man. That is my show.
Keke: The fact that you would want to be you would be if you were like a human meaning a character in King of Queens. That show would have, really I would have really been like yes!
Quinta: That is my show – me and my mom. Actually when the dad, Arthur Stiller, in real life when he passed away that was like a hurt piece for me and my mom, like we really were like, oh my god, like he’s gone. And this show had been off the air for years. But we, we really – Jerry Stiller is his real name, Arthur’s his name in the show. And we were like, no, not Arthur. Like that show means a lot to us. And when I go back to Philly, that’s still the show me and my mom gather around the TV to watch with each other and I just love that show so much.”
Feel-good moment: Quinta shares that she and Issa Rae love Keke; Quinta says Keke makes the “upward battle easier” for young black women (full clip – 52:55-54:20)
Quinta: “I was sitting with Issa. And we’re both just like….we are so happy that you are so good…
Keke: ….I think it’s nice when you guys appreciate me for what I’ve been doing as an entertainer. So I just think we have, we have a love for one another…
Quinta: We do…
Keke: …because we’re black girls in this game.
Quinta: And I just love that like, I just love that little girls have you, like my niece… maybe my niece didn’t see nope, but she can see you like a magazine cover or you know, hosting something or having a show like you just are meaning so much to so many people at so many different times. And I think that’s so incredible. I’m very grateful for your presence. I’m happy to be able to look at you sometimes because you just make, I don’t know, you make the upward battle a little bit easier.”