Comedian Ms. Pat talks child rearing, couponing, mental health ahead of BET+ sitcom's new season
The Atlanta-born standup comedian and comedy writer Ms. Pat, also known as Patricia Williams, has truly seen it all. Her comedy crackles with hard-edged realism, which is unsurprising given that Ms. Pat overcame an early life on the streets, has been shot twice, served jail time and raised two kids she had as a teenager. Ms. Pat’s sitcom, “The Ms. Pat Show,” is returning for a second season starting Aug. 11 on BET+. She also currently has a one-hour comedy special on Netflix titled “Y’all Wanna Hear Something Crazy,” and her podcast, “The Patdown with Ms. Pat,” is released weekly via the podcast comedy network Starburns Audio. Ms. Pat joined “City Lights” senior producer Kim Drobes via Zoom to chat about her many ventures in comedy and her hit show’s new season.
A comedy show that digs into real life’s toughest places:
“[‘The Ms. Pat Show’] is based on about 98% of my life. So it takes a lot of my life stories, and it puts it on the screens. That’s why we’re able to talk about things that most regular TV won’t allow you to talk about. So we go deep. We go dark. I try to teach my comedy audience. We try to teach my TV audience that you can take any pain in your life and find the funny in it. That’s how you start to heal.”
“I did an episode in the first season where I have a gay daughter, and you know, me being born in the South, you know how we’re raised and how we think. I opened myself up to show how ignorant I was to the fact, and it showed no matter what my daughter chooses to do, I still love my daughter no matter what … Another one was getting my power back from the man, which was her father, who treated me wrong. I had a very bad relationship with him. He was married; I was really young. So we did a great episode on that — that’s the episode nominated for the Emmy … In the second season, we tackle molestation. We tackle Black hair. We tackle struggles in relationships. We tackle why Black people don’t go to counseling. We did all of that.”
On the real (and fictitious) Ms. Pat’s move from urban Atlanta to suburban Indiana:
“I think living in Indianapolis, it was such a culture shock for me. I’m from the inner city of Atlanta; I guess you say the hood, the ghetto or whatever, but when you get thrown into a conservative middle-class neighborhood, it was a culture shock for me. So never would’ve thought I [would be] creating a TV show, but I can sit out on my porch every day and write an episode. I say, we are not the same.”
“I lived in Indiana for 15 years. I know my neighborhood. I don’t have to make up anything. I lived it each and every day. I started going to the Goodwill because of white people. I mean, they would go, and they would have a ‘Paint Theresa’s Table Day,’ and everybody in the neighborhood go over there and help Theresa paint that table. I said, ‘How interesting is this?'” recounted Ms. Pat. “I learned how to coupon from living in my white neighborhood. That’s why the second episode on the first season was ‘Coupon,’ and they kicked me out the couponing club because I was treating the coupon like dope money … I was balling it up, putting it in my chest.”
Memorable moments from Season 2 of “The Ms. Pat Show.”
“The favorite episode for me this year — I think I have two. One is a robbery episode, where we get robbed. I think that’s hilarious, but the more groundbreaking for me is a Black hair episode, where I did an episode about how, as a kid, my mama would call me nappy-headed, and she would say my sister looks a lot better than I do. To me, that’s where the trauma started, with my hair, with my mama telling me it was nappy, it was kinky, and making me think, as a kid, that there was something wrong,” said Ms. Pat. “So many other Black girls have heard those words or have gone through those things, and I just wanted to do an episode on it because I had never seen it done like that before.”
“The Ms. Pat Show” begins its second season on BET+ on Aug. 11. Clips and episodes are available to stream at www.bet.plus/shows/the-ms-pat-show.