Wanda Sykes plays Borgata’s Music Box November 7 & 8. So here’s a quick Wanda Sykes quiz.
Which of these three quotes come from Sykes?
“I can hear my mother now: ‘What? Oh, you gonna get a divorce? It’s just that easy, huh? Things get hard, things get rough – you just want to throw in the towel, just like that. Let me tell you something, that’s a bunch of bull. Let me tell you something – your father and I had a shootout, OK? He took one in the arm – Harry, show her where I shot you – now, see that’s love right there. You gotta learn how to work these things out. He was wrong, I shot him – you move on.”
“I don’t understand this whole Elvis thing. There are dead people in my family that we miss and love dearly, but shoot, we don’t dress up like them and do impressions. I’ll show up at the family reunion in a dirty t-shirt and a bald cap – ‘Look, everybody, I’m Uncle Earl.’”
“I love doing stand-up, because it gives me the freedom to say what I really want to say. I think that’s why it’s my favorite thing to do.”
Wanda Sykes has carved out an impressive TV career with stints on “The Chris Rock Show,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” “Curb your Enthusiasm,” her own late night talk show and a bunch of HBO comedy specials. And that’s not even mentioning films like “Bruce Almighty” and “Monster in Law.” She’s a writer, actor and producer.
But like all great stand-ups—a career she started in 1987—she never stopped going out on a stage all by her lonesome and making an audience laugh.
“That’s where it all started for me,” Sykes tells the Salt Lake Tribune. “And that’s what I still love doing. It’s still the most challenging thing. It’s where I have the most freedom. I feel the funniest. It’s my bread and butter.”
And it’s also where she has to be sharpest.
“You don’t get to do a retake,” Sykes said. “And that’s what drives me nuts. If I’m in the middle of the show and I do a joke and I flub a line, it’s like the joke is dead. But that’s what makes it fun. It’s always different.”
Sykes draws heavily on her own life for her material—“You’ll learn a lot about me” she says—and that recently includes some major life events such as battling cancer (Sykes recently announced she’s teamed up with Stand Up To Cancer for a new promotional campaign), remarrying and having kids, turning 50 and coming out as gay.
“As far as putting me in a category,” she tells the Phoenix New Times. “I think it’d be hard to put me in a category. ”Oh yeah, she’s the black, lesbian mother, cancer survivor comic. I’d be the only one in that box.”
“It’s just who I am. It’s my reality, so like… I have to talk about it. It would be harder for me not to talk about it. I don’t want to say “use it,” but it is what it is. That’s what I draw from, I draw from my real life in comedy.”
So seeing Wanda Sykes live is a great chance to get to know her. It also gives fans a lot of reasons to like Wanda Sykes.