Crissle West (born 1982) is an American writer and comedian. She is a co-host of the podcast The Read.
While living in Oklahoma, West met future cohost Kid Fury first on Twitter, then in person during a trip to Atlanta in 2012. West moved to New York City shortly thereafter, and Kid Fury approached her about starting a podcast.
iTunes featured The Read on its Best of 2013 list and as an Editors’ Choice in 2014. Slate named a Read episode to its list of “Best 25 Podcast Episodes of All Time,” and The Verge named The Read to its list of podcasts "you should be listening to." The Read also won best podcast at the 2014 Black Weblog Awards.
Together West and Kid Fury were named to The Grio's 100, which said "the unabashedly profane duo take 'throwing shade' to a new level on a weekly basis leaving their fans in stitches and shaking their heads in disbelief."
At The Read and beyond, West has been noted for her trenchant critiques of racism. She drew national attention for a WNYC-hosted panel "Funny or Racist" where she dismantled an argument defending blackface.
Comedy and other media
West is also a comedian, notably appearing with Octavia Spencer on Comedy Central's Emmy-nominated Drunk History series in "a surprisingly-hilarious retelling" of Harriet Tubman's work as a Union spy during the Civil War. Salon called the episode one of 2015's "best moments in political comedy." In 2016, West narrated an episode of Drunk History honoring National Coming Out Day, recounting Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson's role in the Stonewall Riots. The A.V. Club said the episode "schools Hollywood in telling LGBT stories," as "West, who was one of last season’s best narrators, returns with another memorable, powerful retelling."
West is also a host on Beats 1 Radio, part of Apple Music, and has written for Essence. Madame Noire calls her "one of the people we wish were our friends. She’s just that cool, really."
Since 2016 West has appeared on Uncommon Sense with Charlamagne Tha God on MTV2.