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Nicco Annan Describes 'P-Valley' as 'Cheers' in a Strip Club

The show shines a spotlight on marginalized communities and tells their stories through the steamy stylized shadows of Delta Noir.

Nicco Annan wearing a blazer
Nicco Annan is an actor, dancer and choreographer who's best known for playing Uncle Clifford on the Straz series P-Valley.
Damu Malik

This story is part of I'm So Obsessed (subscribe here), our podcast featuring interviews with actors, artists, celebrities and creative types about their work, career and current obsessions.

We live in a time when there's an abundance of outstanding shows. One that made many critic's best lists in 2020 was the series P-Valley. The show is written and produced by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Katori Hall and takes place at a strip club called The Pynk in the fictional Mississippi town Chucalissa. P-Valley is back for a second season, which is airing now on Starz.

But The Pynk isn't like the Bada Bing on The Sopranos or Lickety Splitz on Ozark. In fact, according to the actor, dancer and choreographer Nicco Annan, who plays Uncle Clifford on P-Valley, The Pynk is more akin to the show Cheers.

"I typically describe P-Valley as a Southern fried drama. And I put it in the context of Cheers with Ted Danson. My character, Uncle Clifford, runs the strip club called The Pynk. I always spell it out for people because it's p, y, n, k," Annan said on CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast. "It's a place where all of these marginalized communities, these people that come in and out of these stories, and you get to really know who they are."

Season 2 of the show delves deeper into the lives of the characters as they, like the rest of us, deal with the pandemic. P-Valley uses the fear many people had and still have about COVID-19 as an analogy to what the dancers and patrons at The Pynk and the citizens of Chucalissa have dealt with because of who they are. Annan described that fear as the same feeling that a marginalized group may feel or have felt living in America as a black person.

You can listen to my entire conversation with Annan in the podcast player above. One of my favorite parts was how Annan described meeting Janet Jackson, who is a big P-Valley fan. You can watch new episodes of P-Valley Sunday nights on Starz or stream the show via the Starz channel on Prime Video.

Subscribe to I'm So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode, Connie Guglielmo and I catch up with an artist, actor or creator to learn about their work, career and current obsessions.