Why She’s Interesting: Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay, or so author-comedian-actress Robinson declared in the title of her second bestselling essay collection in 2018. On film, stage and print, she’s built a career venting with and galvanizing audiences in the same quip-laced breath. Her Comedy Central talk show debuts this year.
Home Body: She’s made a life in the spotlight, but growing up in Bedford and Solon. Robinson mostly immersed herself in the dramas of Felicity, Moesha and The West Wing. “Honestly, I didn’t go out much, if at all as a teenager. I was very boring and not cool.”
Lesson Plan: Her conversational humor found its niche on 2 Dope Queens, a comedy podcast she first taped live at Brooklyn clubs with co-host Jessica Williams before HBO picked it up for two seasons. They often followed a lesson-based format with their celebrity guests, such as asking Daniel Radcliffe to provide spell-casting tips. She hopes to bring the format to her talk show. “When you’re distracting someone by having them do something they’re really good at, it allows them to open up more.”
Comic Relief: The essays of Everything’s Trash dive clear-eyed into the social injustices and existential dread miring many Americans while offering irreverent wit that allows readers to laugh. “Having that sort of responsibility to take people to a place of joy is one of the things that’s really special about comedy.”
Big Fan: A seasoned interviewer, Robinson has conducted talkbacks with everyone from Lizzo to Michelle Obama, and has a list of dream guests lined up for her yet-untitled talk show. Still, she jokes her deeply supportive mom Octavia shall remain uncannily nonplussed until she books Viola Davis. “My mom would probably only watch that episode.”
Sweetest Thing: Robinson will follow U2 anywhere, having seen the Dublin icons 20 times. She even counts something Bono gave her as one of her most prized possessions. “My third most treasured item is a notecard that’s from Bono. It’s a birthday note he wrote me.”
You can spot Robinson’s dancing cameo in Maroon 5’s massive music video for “Girls Like You.”
Click here to read the full list of 30 Most Interesting People of 2020.