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'''Wanda Sykes''' (born March 7, 1964) is an American Emmy Award winning [[stand-up comedy|stand-up comedian]] and [[actress]]. She is known for her blunt comedic observations on current events, the differences between the sexes and races, and the [[human condition]]. As an actress she is known for her role as Barb on ''[[The New Adventures of Old Christine]]'', on [[HBO]]'s ''[[Curb Your Enthusiasm]]'' as herself and numerous cameo appearances. In 2004 ''[[Entertainment Weekly]]'' named her as one of the 25 funniest people in America.<ref>{{cite news | title=The Best of the Rest | url=http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,600311_2,00.html | work=Entertainment Weekly | date=19 March 2004 | accessdate=2008-12-25}}</ref>
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'''Wanda Sykes''' (born March 7, 1964) ) An ignorant fool who thinks she's funny, she should leave politics to the profeis an American Emmy Award winning [[stand-up comedy|stand-up comedian]] and [[actress]]. She is known for her blunt comedic observations on current events, the differences between the sexes and races, and the [[human condition]]. As an actress she is known for her role as Barb on ''[[The New Adventures of Old Christine]]'', on [[HBO]]'s ''[[Curb Your Enthusiasm]]'' as herself and numerous cameo appearances. In 2004 ''[[Entertainment Weekly]]'' named her as one of the 25 funniest people in America.<ref>{{cite news | title=The Best of the Rest | url=http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,600311_2,00.html | work=Entertainment Weekly | date=19 March 2004 | accessdate=2008-12-25}}</ref>
   
 
==Early years==
 
==Early years==

Revision as of 02:31, 13 May 2009

Wanda Sykes
Wanda Sykes.jpg
Wanda Sykes, September 2004
Occupation Actress/Comedian
Years active 1987–present
Spouse(s) Dave Hall (1991-1998),
Undisclosed (2008-present)
Website http://www.wandasykes.com www.WandaSykes.com

Wanda Sykes (born March 7, 1964) ) An ignorant fool who thinks she's funny, she should leave politics to the profeis an American Emmy Award winning stand-up comedian and actress. She is known for her blunt comedic observations on current events, the differences between the sexes and races, and the human condition. As an actress she is known for her role as Barb on The New Adventures of Old Christine, on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm as herself and numerous cameo appearances. In 2004 Entertainment Weekly named her as one of the 25 funniest people in America.[1]

Early years

Sykes was born in Portsmouth, Virginia and raised in the Washington, D.C. area. Her father served as a US Army colonel employed at the Pentagon, and her mother worked as a banker. She attended Arundel High School in Gambrills, Maryland, and went on to graduate from Hampton University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing. After college, her first job was as a procurement officer with the National Security Agency (NSA),[2] where she worked for five years.[3]

Career

Not completely satisfied with her role with the NSA, Sykes began her stand-up career at a Coors Light Super Talent Showcase in Washington, DC, where she performed for the first time in front of a live audience.[4] She continued to hone her talents at local venues while at the NSA until 1992, when she moved to New York City. Her first big break came when opening for Chris Rock at Caroline's Comedy Club. In 1997, she joined the writing team on The Chris Rock Show and also made many appearances on the show.[4] The writing team was nominated for four Emmys, and in 1999 won for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Special. Since that time, she has appeared in such films as Pootie Tang and on TV shows such as Curb Your Enthusiasm. In 2003, she starred in her own short-lived Fox network sitcom, Wanda at Large. The same year, Sykes appeared in an hour-long Comedy Central special, Tongue Untied. That network also ranked her #70 on its list of the 100 greatest all-time standups. She served as a correspondent for HBO's Inside the NFL, hosted Comedy Central's popular show Premium Blend, and voiced a recurring character named Gladys on Comedy Central's puppet show Crank Yankers. She also had a short-lived show on Comedy Central called Wanda Does It.

In addition to her film and television work, she is also an author. She wrote Yeah, I Said It, a book of humorous observations on various topics, published in September 2004.

In 2006, she landed a recurring role on the sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine; she became a series regular in the second season. She also guest starred in the Will & Grace episode "Buy, Buy Baby" in 2006. She provided voices for the 2006 films Over the Hedge, Barnyard, and Brother Bear 2. She had a part in My Super Ex-Girlfriend and after playing in Evan Almighty, had a bit part in License to Wed. Sykes' first HBO Comedy Special, entitled Wanda Sykes: Sick & Tired, premiered on October 14, 2006. Her voice can be heard narrating the most recent Applebee's commercials as the talking apple, with her infamous ending line, "Get it together, baby."

Sykes performed as part of Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Tour 2008.

In October 2008, Wanda Sykes appeared in a television ad for the Think Before You Speak Campaign, an advertising campaign by GLSEN aimed at curbing homophobic slang in youth communities. In the 30-second spot, she uses humour to scold a teenager for saying "that's so gay" when he really means "that is so bad."[5][6]

In March 2009, it was announced that Sykes would be the host of a new late-night talk show on Saturdays on Fox. It is expected to premier in the Fall of 2009.[7]

In April 2009, she was named in Out magazine's Annual Power 50 List, landing at number 35.[8]

On Saturday, May 9, 2009, Sykes was the featured entertainer for the 2009 White House Correspondents' Association dinner, becoming both the first African American and the first "out" homosexual to get the role.[9] During her routine,[10] she referenced a January 2009 episode of The Rush Limbaugh Show in which Limbaugh said, "I hope he [Barack Obama] fails."[11][12] Sykes, however, stated that Limbaugh's comments implied that he actually wants the failure of the United States: "So you're saying, 'I hope America fails.'... He just wants the country to fail. To me, that's treason. He's not saying anything different than what Osama bin Laden is saying." Addressing the President, she continued, "You know, you might want to look into this, sir, because I think maybe Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker, but he was just so strung out on OxyContin [that] he missed his flight." The crowd responded with mixed sentiments, and Sykes asked, "Too much?" before continuing, "Rush Limbaugh? 'I hope the country fails.' I hope his kidneys fail; how about that? He needs a little waterboarding; that's what he needs."[13] Her remarks quickly became controversial, [14] and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs later distanced President Obama from her reference to the 9/11 hijackings.[15]

Awards

Sykes 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 , for her work on “Inside the NFL” for “Outstanding Studio Show - Weekly- Inside The NFL" followed by a Comedy Central Commie Award for "Funniest TV Actress in 2003." [16]

Personal life

Sykes was married to David Hall from 1991 to 1998.[17] In October 2008 in California she married her female partner, whom she met in 2006, and publicly came out in November at a same-sex marriage rally regarding Proposition 8 in Las Vegas that she is a lesbian and had just married.[3] She expressed her excitement over the presidential election of Barack Obama, and feeling "crushed" after the passage of Proposition 8, forbidding marriages of same-sex couples in California.[3][18] She has continued to be active in same-sex marriage issues hosting events and emceeing fundraisers.

Filmography

Screenwriter

  • The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show (1997) (TV)
  • The Chris Rock Show (1997) (TV)
  • Best of Chris Rock: Volume 2 (2001)
  • The Downer Channel (2001) (TV)
  • The 74th Annual Academy Awards Show (2002) (TV)
  • Wanda Sykes: Tongue Untied (2003) (TV)
  • Wanda at Large (2003) (TV)
  • Wanda Sykes: Sick and Tired (2006) (TV)

References

  1. ^ "The Best of the Rest". Entertainment Weekly. 19 March 2004. Retrieved 2008-12-25. 
  2. ^ "Wanda Sykes Biography". Yahoo! Movies. AEC One Group Stop, Inc. 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-11. 
  3. ^ a b c Karpel, Ari (March 2009). "Black and Gay Like Me". The Advocate (1024).  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "advocate" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  4. ^ a b "Wanda Sykes". The Notable Names Database. 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ http://www.thinkb4youspeak.com/
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ Out magazine
  9. ^ Bolcer, Julie. "Wanda Sykes Rips Into Rush Limbaugh." The Advocate. 11 May 2009. (accessed May 11, 2009).
  10. ^ "OBAMA LIKES WANDA SYKES JOKE ABOUT RUSH LIMBAUGH — 'I HOPE HIS KIDNEYS FAIL'". CSpan. May 10, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails". The Rush Limbaugh Show, Transcript. January 16, 2009. Retrieved March 23, 2009. 
  12. ^ Bacon, Perry, Jr. (March 4, 2009). "GOP Seeks Balance With Conservative Icon Limbaugh". The Washington Post. pp. A01. 
  13. ^ Bolcer 2009.
  14. ^ "White House distances itself from Sykes's Limbaugh jokes; conservatives fume". Canadian Press. May 11, 2009. 
  15. ^ "Robert Gibbs on Wanda Sykes: 9/11 is not 'comedy'". Politico. May 11, 2009. 
  16. ^ "Wanda Sykes Biography". Comedy Central. May 11 2009. Retrieved 2009-5-11.  Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)
  17. ^ "Wanda Sykes: Summary". TV.com. CNET Networks. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  18. ^ Sarah Warn (15 November 2008). "Wanda Sykes Comes Out as Gay and Married". afterellen. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 

External links

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