Comedy Central is sitting on its best digital sketch series since Astronomy Club, and we’ve got the pleasure of being the first to share it with the world.
Created by and starring Akilah Hughes and Milana Vayntrub and directed by BriTANicK duo and SNL alums Brian McElhaney and Nick Kocher, Making Fun With Akilah and Milana is Comedy Central’s latest foray into crisply written, perfectly directed, and masterfully performed cultural critique — a skewering two-hander that sees Akilah and Milana in full-on beast mode.
In “Pattycake,” the first of three sketches released weekly on Comedy Central’s YouTube channel, Akilah and Milana revolutionize a game of patty-cake, turning the childhood staple into a far-reaching commentary on racism, feminism, economic inequality, and the broken American health-care system … in, like, the first minute and a half. Future episodes deal with the regrettably primal urge to bond over a shared enemy and the human tendency to make everything about ourselves. Everything.
A couple of gems stand out:
“Patty-cake, patty-cake, baker’s man, bake me a cake as fast as you can. Pat it, and roll it, and mark it with a J, and put it in the oven for my wedding, which is gay.”
The ladies chant together: “I’m depressed. I’m so blessed. Which one of us is more oppressed? Roll call!”
Akilah then takes over: “I am a woman. I have black skin. And a Native American friend.”
Milana’s turn: “I am a woman. I have split ends. And I am … an immigrant!”
Akilah’s character then challenges, “But you’re still white,” which sets the duo off on examining the placement of Milana’s immigrant experience on the oppression scale. It’s a small example of why this piece is so brilliant.
“The truth is, when Akilah and I get together to make fun of each other, we vent about issues and injustices. We can be laughing through really dark conversations and might leave a little uplifted. That’s what we’re hoping to share,” Milana says. Adds Akilah: “The world is a mess. Everyone feels that. We’re just trying to make sense of it and when we can’t, laugh.”