The best new show on HBO isn't Divorce. It's Insecure, the new comedy series from Awkward Black Girl creator and star Issa Rae. The series, co-created by Rae and Nightly Show (RIP) host Larry Wilmore, has quickly garnered a dedicated fanbase and nearly unanimous critical praise for its authenticity. Ahead of the debut season's halfway point, Rae stopped by The Breakfast Club to talk about the show's journey and to toss out a little love for fellow HBO classic Curb Your Enthusiasm and the rest of the Seinfeld team.
"It's been a long-ass journey," Rae said Friday when discussing her path from YouTube to HBO. "With [HBO], three years. But, you know, I've been doing this for about nine years. The first YouTube series I ever created was in 2007. I was a senior in college." Rae noted that scoring a loyal YouTube following, however, doesn't exactly equal the kind of fame people assume. "We very much had to build from the ground up," she said. "I credit, for sure, the viewers of [Awkward Black Girl] as the reason I have a show on HBO now."
When asked how she felt about being called the "female Seinfeld," Rae revealed she's long been a fan of Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David's work. "I grew up watching their shows," Rae said. "I mean, Seinfeld for sure and then Larry David. I just love how they take the minute, the stuff that everybody goes through, the little things, and they amplify it and make it funny."
Speaking on her creative relationship with Wilmore, Rae said the two really hit it off following her initial deal with HBO years ago. "Our relationship just budded from there," Rae said. "He's just been an amazing mentor. He's really made me confident in my own voice and my storytelling. He's just a smart man and has been in the game for so long… You'd think that he'd be subscribed to the traditional forms of making TV, but he's not afraid to just throw stuff out."
Related: Issa Rae Talks 'Insecure' Season 2