Comedian Wanda Sykes in a conversation with Jonathan Capehart at the 92 Street Y in NYC, talked about her new Netflix special, Not Normal, her wife and kids, and her views on the wide field of candidates running fro the Democratic Party nomination for 2020.
On the constant infighting within the Democratic Party: “Being a Democrat is like getting an Atomic Wedgie everyday.”
Sykes talks about Roseanne Barr and how she torpedoed her show with a tweet.
“I always knew Twitter was going to be problem for her,” Wanda Sykes on Roseanne Barr.
Sykes served as an executive producer of the show, “When I got the call from Bruce Helford about working on the new Roseanne, I went, I’m a big fan of the original show, they have the original cast, Roseanne was kind enough to help us out for Last Comic— I’ll be there. Cool,” she confessed to the NY Daily News about joining the series.
“So, great first season,” she continued. “Then the morning we were ready to come back for the second season, I pick up my phone, and it’s blowing up. I’m like, ‘What is this?’ I looked at the Valerie Jarrett tweet, and I was like, Aw, jeez, I can’t condone this.”
Capehart also spoke to her about the Emmy she won for Black-ish. In 2017, Sykes received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her appearance in the episode titled “Lemons.”
“Lemons,” the episode of Black-ish that aired on ABC on Wednesday night. The episode takes that humblest of things—the primetime TV sitcom—and uses it to find, per Wallace’s mandate, the human magic of this moment. “Lemons” (the title is both a reference to, and a rejection of, the old adage about making lemonade) is art that is supremely aware of its own ability not just to reflect the world, but to help people make sense of it. It is art that achieves the neatest of tricks: It expresses anger while also insisting on empathy.
““Lemons” is set two months after the 2016 election—which is to say, this episode of Black-ish is happening now-ish—and it finds the Johnsons each, in their own way, coping with the aftereffects of Trump’s upset victory. (“America has a love affair with upsets,” Dre notes in the episode’s opening monologue. But “what happens when the winners and losers are supposed to be on the same team?”)The Atlantic
While addressing the current field of Democrats seeking the nomination, Sykes says she thinks Elizabeth Warren has the most comprehensive plan to actually save the middle class and marvels at Kamala Harris’s intellect, but reveals she’s been captivated by Pete Buttigieg. Capehart, slightly surprised at her enthusiasm for Buttigieg, then asks Sykes if she thinks America is ready for a gay, married president. To which Sykes replied:
“I wasn’t ready for a dictator.”
Alternately hysterical and serious, but never boring, watch Caperhart’s interview with Sykes below.
Is it still possible to laugh at our contemporary cultural moment? If anyone can make it happen, it’s Wanda Sykes. Join her for a candid conversation about what is and isn’t “normal” in 2019, her three decades working in stand-up, her recent work on ABC’s Black-ish and much more. Widely regarded by fellow comedians as one of the most brilliant stand-up comics alive, her new Netflix special, Not Normal, tackles everything that shouldn’t be funny right now—our current political and cultural climate—with gut-busting wit and intelligence. Jonathan Capehart is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and a member of The Washington Post editorial board, where he is also an opinion writer. Recorded on June 4, 2019 at 92nd Street Y.