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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, December 10, 2023

Ilana Glazer and Phoebe Robinson get personal on their YQY tour

The promotional poster for Ilana Glazer and Phoebe Robinson's YQY tour is pictured.

Comedians Ilana Glazer and Phoebe Robinson took on the Boston leg of their YQY tour on Nov. 11 and 12. YQY, an acronym for "Yaaas Queen Yaaas," originated from an episode of Robinson’s podcast with Jessica Williams, "2 Dope Queens." Glazer is also part of a well-known female comedian duo, starring alongside Abbi Jacobson in Comedy Central’s "Broad City" (2016–), whose latest season has been much more politically charged than previous ones.

While Glazer and Robinson may seem like a disparate duo, one a creator of a TV show and the other an author and podcaster, the two are more business-related than they seem. Glazer is the executive producer of Robinson’s latest podcast, “Sooo Many White Guys” (2017), which features people of color in the entertainment industry with the occasional white guy. The podcast flips the concept of the 'token' person of color. Although Glazer and Robinson’s work is largely political, especially after the 2016 election, their show at the Wilbur was much less politically charged than expected.

Robinson opened the act, and much of her set was based on her experiences with her new boyfriend. She claimed to be having “the best sex of her life” and joked that she was so lazy in bed that she was “the heaviest fleshlight on the market.”

Robinson’s set proved the killer wit she often showcases on “2 Dope Queens” hasn't gone anywhere. She also wasn’t afraid to engage with the audience, and even had a conflict with one of the groups sitting by the stage. Using the moment as a comedic opportunity, Robinson joked and thanked the “scary white dude” who told the group to stop what they were doing. Suprisingly, Robinson’s set did not include any direct jabs at Donald Trump's administration, and most of her jokes were derived from personal experiences.

Glazer also focused on her new relationship, having just been married. She joked about her newfound fame and how she often tries to place strangers who recognize her on the street. Her fame has led to her having more money than she has ever had, and she satirized the stuck-up fellow residents in her upper-class apartment building. Glazer performed what she called “micro-impersonations,” where she would make one noise in order to impersonate a celebrity, often a musician. She commented on the incident with the group in the front, noting that if it happened while she were on stage she would avoid the problem entirely, a result of her suburban upbringing. Glazer’s set was true to comedic style: a little bit off the cuff, a little crude, but always a crying-tears type of hilarious.

While Glazer and Robinson’s sets were both funny and thematically similar, the political issues these women usually take head-on were not as explicitly confronted on the YQY tour. As the title would suggest, the show highlighted the women’s recent accomplishments, and the little ways in which their personal lives challenge the wishes of the present administration. “Broad City” no longer airs Trump’s name, instead bleeping it out like an expletive. Glazer and Jacobson even offered an installation for your web browser where you can block out Trump’s name. Maybe these women’s comedies are shifting, in order to give Trump’s name and administration less open air. By discussing their personal lives in detail, Robinson, and particularly Glazer, step out of their comedic character and are just them. The change in style is a much needed one during a tumultuous time when, maybe, the best thing for people to do is to relate to one another. For that, comedy is always a great vehicle.