In 2008, Iowa newspaper the Quad-City Times shared a wonderful photo of Phyllis Thede and her daughter Robin (pictured) celebrating the election of the first black president. This weekend, the paper is back on the Thede beat, profiling “the first black female to head up a late-night comedy show writing staff.”
Robin joined The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore a year ago, right around the time mom was endorsed by the paper and elected for a fourth straight term as the Iowa State Representative for District 93. Per reporter David Burke, comedy was always in the cards for Robin:
“She’s always been funny and very quick-witted,” her mother recalled. “We all have a pretty good sense of humor and she just ran with that. It just became a part of her.”
Phyllis Thede recalls her daughter loving to imitate people she saw on TV.
“Robin went that extra mile and would act it out in the living room or wherever she was at,” she said. “We saw a lot of energy when she was younger. It was really important that we helped get that going.”
Robin attended Northwestern’s Medill School on a broadcast journalism scholarship and was previously head writer for Queen Latifah’s daytime talk show. Half The Nightly Show writers she hired and supervises are female; and half of that staff of 10 is also made up of people of color. In the article, there are some fun details about the hustle elements that helped Thede land her latest high-profile job.
[Photo via: robinthede.com]