Wanda Sykes: I'ma Be Me (DVD)
Wanda Sykes returns for her second HBO special, to be taped before a live audience at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. this August for an October debut. The special will feature the outspoken comic performing material featured in her current national stand-up tour.
Blunt and exasperated, standup comedian and sitcom star Wanda Sykes launches into politics, race, and sex without hesitation or fear--and sometimes talks about all three at once. This is not comedy for the easily offended, liberal or conservative. Stalking the stage in a metallic silver jacket and vest, Sykes talks about how having a black president has eased the need to be dignified for the sake of the collective African-American image (only she says that in far more pungent and far funnier language) before gliding through such wide-ranging topics as Somali pirates, the metric system, and leaf blowers. Unsurprisingly, a big chunk of her performance tackles her life as a lesbian, but Sykes avoids anything sanctimonious or preachy. Instead, she contrasts being gay and being black and decides that being gay is harder because she never had to come out as black--then she rattles off a sidesplitting routine about what that might have been like. Kegel exercises, Michael Jackson, impotence--it's all fair game. Her final segment about getting her first bikini wax is both hysterical and cringe inducing. Sykes's humor comes with a strong dose of upfront honesty (about herself and the crazy contradictions of American culture); anyone who likes that sort of thing should check out Wanda Sykes: I'ma Be Me
. --Bret Fetzer