Seriously. If you don't know her, now you have absolutely no excuse. You must. I'm in lecture right now, and I keep randomly stifling laughs because I keep thinking of her performances and her priceless facial expressions.
She was nominated for three Primetime Emmys and in 1999 won the Emmy for "Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special."
In 2001, she won the American Comedy Award for "Outstanding Female Stand Up Comic". She won three more Emmys, in 2002, 2004 and 2005.
Wanda Sykes has seriously made me keel over crying with laughter. She is wildly entertaining—she uses shock humor that is uncomfortably politically incorrect and usually somewhat vulgar. I watched her for the first time with my mother. And if she can speak to a college-aged, queer-identified, liberal young woman, AND an aging, menopausal, strictly heterosexual, Republican—then we are talking about talent. My mother and I had to pause the show and T-Vo it because we couldn’t breathe we were laughing so hard.
In May 2009, Sykes was the featured entertainer for the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner, becoming both the first black woman and the first openly LGBT person to get the role. She made controversial headlines as she responded to conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh's comments regarding President Barack Obama. Limbaugh, in reference to Obama's presidential agenda, had said "I hope he fails". She responded by saying, “I hope his [Limbaugh’s] kidney’s fail.” See her full response and video clips from the dinner here: http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2009/05/11/Wanda_Sykes_Rips_into_Rush_Limbaugh/
My favorite comment was actually in reference to the lovely Sarah Palin, who couldn’t make it because of flooding in her area. Wanda said, “She pulled out at the last minute. Somebody should tell her, that’s not really how you practice abstinence.”
But honestly, the funniest stand-up comedy I have ever heard in my entire life is her third comedy special: I’ma Be Me, which premiered on HBO last October. This is the one my mom and I watched. The theme is “Change.” Change from everything in the White House to her own personal changes—bikini waxing. Like I said, I'm in lecture. I keep randomly and awkwardly laughing to myself. The girl next to me is wildly confused.
Wanda publicly came out as a lesbian in 2008, after marrying her partner Alex. She came out while at a same-sex marriage rally in Las Vegas regarding Prop 8. In I’ma Be Me, she explains that she had remained quiet about her sexuality for a while, but after being so hurt and “pissed” about Prop 8, she felt she could not remain silent any longer. After feeling that awesome high many of us felt after the presidential election, the passing of Prop 8 by California voters was “crushing.” She has continued to be active in same-sex marriage issues hosting events and emceeing fundraisers. (Happy fact: Alex gave birth to twins Olivia Lou and Lucas Claude on April 27, 2009. Yay moms. )
She is an LGBTQ role model, activist, and really amazing study break. YouTube clips from I’ma Be Me or get it on demand. She is fucking hilarious. Check her out. Her official website: www.wandasykes.com
Hope everyone is having a lovely week before Spring Break. Good luck with midterms. Love you ladies!