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Bed-Stuy comedienne lands on HBO

Coddett says the full time position allows her to be a voice for black women in the writers room and tackle important subjects dear to her with sensitivity and comedy.
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She’s now on to premium television!

A Brooklyn comedienne and founder and organizer of the borough’s annual Kwanzaa Crawl, recently landed a role as a writer on a new HBO late night show. East Flatbush native Kerry Coddett is a staff writer on “Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas,” a show that tackles police brutality and various pressing global subjects. As the only black female on an eight-member writing team, Coddett, who has often been critical about the lack of black women in media, says her new gig allows her to be the voice for black women in the writers room, and a dream come true, she said.

“For me, speaking up for black women and our lack of representation is a complicated thing, but I put in hours into my work and it’s been an interesting journey,” said Coddett. “To be part of a late night show now — it’s nuts and it’s my destiny.”

Having contributed to a few other television shows, Coddett was invited to write an episode for a new show, and within two weeks learned that was chosen to work full time for “Problem Areas,” she said.

When controversy arose about the lack of black female representation on Saturday Night Live in 2013, Coddett wrote an opinion piece for The Atlantic criticizing the late night show for having casted few black women in its close to four decades of running. But she was also one of several women tapped to audition for the show when producers responded to outcry with a search for a new cast member, eventually hiring the now departed Sasheer Zamata. However, she stands by her criticism and calling out diversity

“I wrote that first clapback about Saturday Night Live, and I said it’s not that black women aren’t ready for SNL, SNL isn’t ready for black women,” she said. “It was a weird turn of events because I was one of the women they called back to audition.”

The now Bedford-Stuyvesant resident, who is of Guyanese and Trinidadian background, says her brand of comedy is a mixture of edgy and brazen, and nothing is off limits. That style of humor and being a part of the show allows her to pursue another passion of hers aside from comedy and writing — activism.

“On the show we cover the issue of policing in America stretched out over 10 episodes, and this is something I’m just interested in and passionate about,” said Coddett.

Her lived experiences and those of people in her family and community, prepare her to tackle a personal perspective on many of the show’s subjects.

“When it comes to writing for the show, as someone who has had encounters with police and has friends who have, and being raised in the inner city — I have a first-hand, birds eye view, that allows me to make their jokes that others can’t approach,” she said.

Coddett says this new venture in her career is the start of many more to come. She’s been creating content for the past several years and sees a big future in comedy.

“I look forward to doing more performing, creating my own content, producing content, and writing shows and being on camera more,” she said. “I hope to have my own show, whether it’s late night or not — sky’s the limit. It’s just an exciting time for black people and a resurgence, and I feel like we’re finally getting our due and taking our due.”

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimon@cnglocal.com.
Updated 3:05 am, July 10, 2018
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Reader feedback

Floyann says:
Kerry has been a promising icon to the Caribbean/African diaspora and inspiration to many since I’ve know her in our Baruch college days. A true epitome of the term “Sky’s the limit”!
Well done K. Coddett!
April 26, 2018, 12:27 pm

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