Wanda Sykes is a comedian, actress, activist and lesbian mom. For five seasons she played Barb on the CBS comedy The New Adventures of Old Christine and was nominated for a Emmy for her HBO comedy special. WCT walked the talk with Sykes.
Windy City Times: How's life, Wanda?
Wanda Sykes: Oh, life is great!
WCT: I heard you used to work security. Did you always want to be a comedian?
WS: I wanted to do something in showbiz, I guess. I didn't know anyone in the business so I did the plan that pretty much everyone did. I went to college and got a degree. I moved to the DC area and worked for the government. I got really bored at my government job so it made sense to try something else.
WCT: It worked out well for you.
WS: Yeah, it did. [ Both laugh. ] It has been a wise choice.
WCT: Being originally from Washington, how do you feel Obama is doing with LGBT issues so far?
WS: I think he is doing okay. I would give him a B. when you think about all the other stuff that is going on, he has a full plate. He is not forcing anything but making decent strides and moving things in the right direction.
WCT: How was it going to the White House? You were the first openly gay and African-American woman to perform there.
WS: It was great. They didn't follow me around and make sure that I didn't break anything. It was great meeting him and the first lady. They made me feel welcome.
WCT: I really enjoyed your show. What is going to be your next project now that it is over?
WS: I am looking forward to these live shows and getting back out there on the road and do stand up. That's where it all started for me. It is fun to get a new act and get it going, until I figure out the next step. I am not in a rush. I worked so hard and was so busy this past year. It is nice to spend some time with the kids and the family.
WCT: I wanted to ask you about the family. How are they?
WS: I just got back from Babies R Us. So, that was fun.
WCT: You did some shopping?
WS: Yeah, just doing some momma stuff now. It is great.
WCT: You are going to be at The Venue in Indiana. Are you gambling while you are performing at the casino?
WS: I am. I want to gamble a little bit. I play blackjack. I am not good and I usually don't win but I know when to quit. I don't lose the rent money or anything.
WCT: Are you going to write more books? You wrote a book called Yeah, I Said It.
Maybe down the road. I feel like I have to do a good rehab or get arrested or something to make a good book. I need something scandalous. I can't expect people to buy some regular book, come on. If I could get an eating disorder or something, I don't know…
WCT: I appreciate your effort to get the youth to stop saying the expression "That's so gay."
WS: Oh, thank you. It's for all my gay and lesbians friends. It is so embedded in our culture. It really hurts the kids. That's the thing.
WCT: It is such a negative expression.
WS: Right. When they say "Lady Gaga, that's so gay." Then I am like, "Okay."
WCT: Well, she loves the gays.
WS: Exactly. So that is kind of cool.
To follow the world of Wanda, www.wandasykes.com is the place to be.