Posted by Buellboy
Wanda Sykes promises to pull no punches on new show
McClatchy/Rick Bentley—Comedian Wanda Sykes says her talk-show topics will hit on everything from entertainment to politics.
Wanda Sykes has no problem speaking her mind, rattling off jokes or creating conversation.
Now, she’ll try to get others to be funny and interesting as she joins the world of late-night chatters when the weekly The Wanda Sykes Show launches at 10 p.m. Saturday on Fox.
Hosting a talk show is new for Sykes but the format is not. She got her start on HBO’s The Chris Rock Show, a talk show that had no restrictions because it aired on premium cable. The freedom was perfect for Sykes, who finds humor in everything from politics to sex — and talks about it frankly.
But even with the strict rules that come with network TV, Sykes doesn’t plan to pull any verbal punches.
“I believe Fox has given us the opportunity to put it out there. I mean, that’s what they want. They booked me to be me,” Sykes says.
The network does have a safety net. Like all network talk shows, The Wanda Sykes Show will be recorded in advance. How far in advance might change depending on how much has to be bleeped. Right now, taping the show on Saturday afternoons means Sykes can be topical with her material.
Sykes, a cast member on The New Adventures of Old Christine and Curb Your Enthusiasm, wasn’t looking to host a talk show when Fox contacted her. She especially wasn’t that interested in a network job because of the potential limitations in language and topics.
The Barack Obama campaign made her change her mind.
“I was like, ‘Wow, I really wish I had an outlet where I could go out there and just speak on this on a week-to-week basis and be current.’ And I thought, ‘You know what? This talk show … I can do that. I can do the things like we did on Chris Rock.’ And that seemed like what they were getting at, what they wanted. And so I’m like, ‘This is the time. This is the time to jump into it.’” Sykes says.
Executive producer Eddie Feldmann says the show will look at what has happened in the world through Sykes’ eyes.
In an interview, Sykes explains the show’s premise to Zap2it:
Q: Will anything be off limits?
A: No. I told the writers as long as it’s relevant, if I can see why we are doing it, it has to be grounded in reality, let’s not be mean-spirited. I’m not going to just call somebody fat.
Q: What’s the format?
A: I am going to do a monologue. It will be the big story – whatever the hot story is everyone is talking about this week. I have a sidekick, Keith Robinson. We have been friends for over 20 years. He’s a very funny comic who opened for me on the road. The audience can see me with my real friends. He pushes my buttons.
Q: So you can riff on anything from reality shows to philandering politicians. Then what happens?
A: Then it’s just a big hodgepodge. We’re calling it “Wandarama.” That will be video clips and photos, doing all of the stories of the week, then a three-minute produced piece, a man-on-the-street or correspondent. This weekend I went to Adultcon, the convention for the porn industry, asking them to go green. What’s wrong with a solar-powered vibrator?
Q: What is your goal for the show?
A: To be funny, to have people talking about it. Do people still say “water cooler”? I would love water cooler. Of course, now you just go online. I would love it to be a show people are looking forward to and say, “I can’t wait for next Saturday.”