There's probably a lot of things you don't know about Wanda Sykes. But you do know her.
Resident funny woman, you may believe that she's just full of wit and wisecracks, but come to find out, she has a very important past - and because this is Women's History Month, we're about to school you on the history that is Wanda!
She attended school in Maryland and eventually went on to graduate from Hampton University with a major in marketing. Shortly after graduating, she started her first job as a contracting specialist at the National Security Agency.
After working at the NSA for five years, Wanda decided to start a new adventure. Her stand-up career began when she performed at the Coors Light Super Talent Showcase in Washington DC. Needless to say, Wanda’s first experience with stand-up in front of live audience was a hit.
It was around this time that Wanda married her first husband, Dave Hall. The two were married for seven years and divorced in 1998.
She began booking local venues around the DC area until she decided to move to New York City in 1992. Sykes would perform her stand-up at night an would work for a publishing house during the day. It is reported that she was an editor on the Peter Magadini novel, Polyrhythms - The Musicians Guide.
Queer Black Icon #7: Wanda Sykes. Sykes is a well-known comedian, actress, writer, and voice artist. She is actively involved with the LGBT community including her participation in the Prop 8 rallies in 2006 which fought for same-sex marriage. She was also the first openly lesbian black female featured entertainer at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner in 2009. #blackhistorymonth #blackqueericons #wandasykes #actress #voiceartist #writer #comedian #black #lesbian #woman #prop8 #whitehousecorrespondentsassociationdinner #whitehouse #rallies #activist #lgbtqiaplus #tigershavepride
26 Likes, 1 Comments - Pacific Pride Resource Center (@tigershavepride) on Instagram: "Queer Black Icon #7: Wanda Sykes. Sykes is a well-known comedian, actress, writer, and voice..."
A large part of her international success was due to comedian Chris Rock. Not only opening for him in New York, she was also asked to join his writing team for The Chris Rock Show. Her writing skills helped to be nominated for four Emmy’s - one of which she won.
From here, she began appearing in a variety of different films. She even received her own sitcom called, Wanda at Large which appeared on the Fox network in 2003. A year later, Wanda published her own book called Yeah, I Said It which offered her hilarious inputs on basic situations.
Her first HBO comedy central aired in 2006 and was entitled Wanda Sykes: Sick & Tired. Her performance was nominated for a 2007 Emmy award, however, she did not win. Two years later, Fox announced that the comedian will be receiving her own late-night talk show. The Wanda Sykes Show aired for one season in 2009.
Cuando tienes un dia busy o un dia down ,nada como ver a esta gran comediante ! #wandasykes ??? #standupcomedy @iamwandasykes
12 Likes, 1 Comments - Carlos Gonzalez (@ancarl38) on Instagram: "Cuando tienes un dia busy o un dia down ,nada como ver a esta gran comediante ! #wandasykes ???..."
It was around this time that Wanda came out as a lesbian and announced that she had married her partner, Alex Niedbalski. The couple have two daughters together, two fraternal twins named Olivia Lou and Lucas Claude.
Wanda was the first entertainer at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner to be both African American and openly gay to perform. 2009 was a big year for the comedian because she also released her second stand-up special on HBO called Wanda Sykes: I’ma Be Me.
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6 Likes, 2 Comments - ¿Cuál es tu razón para vivir? (@corre_la_distancia) on Instagram: "lol #wandasykes#comedian#comedians#funny #hilarious#lol#lmao#lmfao#correspondents..."
The comedian has played a large part in supporting the LGBT community as well as PETA and the Ruth Ellis Center. She has also appear on-stage as Miss Hannigan in the Media, PA production of Annie.
Wanda Sykes is an Emmy-winning comedian and actress from Washington, D.C. who has also been recognized by the BET Comedy Awards and the GLAAD Media Awards. A child of a banker and a US Army colonel, Sykes actually started her career working with the National Security Agency. She began performing stand-up comedy in DC while still working with the NSA and decided to move to New York in 1992 to pursue comedy full-time. Her big break was opening for Chris Rock, with whom she collaborated for years on the Chris Rock Show. She is also known for her work on Curb Your Enthusiam, Crank Yankers, Over the Hedge, and several self-titled comedy tours and specials. Sykes publically came out as a lesbian in 2008 at a same-sex marriage rally protesting Proposition 8 in Las Vegas, shortly after her marriage to Alex Niedbalski. Sykes' parents did not attend the wedding, but have since accepted their relationship and twin children who were born in 2009. She was both the first openly LGBTQ person and the first African-American woman to be the featured entertainer at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner in 2009. Sykes also appeared in GLSEN's Think Before You Speak Campaign, a message which is still relevant today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrJrw5ZZfRU #BlackHistoryMonth#WandaSykes
5 Likes, 1 Comments - UNI LGBT* Center (@unilgbt) on Instagram: "Wanda Sykes is an Emmy-winning comedian and actress from Washington, D.C. who has also been..."
Currently, she is still performing her stand-up comedy around the United States. She is still appearing in different television shows and movie. Wanda is set to appear in the Amy Schumer comedy, Snatched. There’s current information of what type of character she will be playing. However, we can only expect it to be hilarious.
21 Likes, 1 Comments - مسلسلات امريكية و افلام (@series_ksa) on Instagram: "#SnatchedMovie New trailer #AmySchumer #GoldieHawn #IkeBarinholtz #WandaSykes 12/5/2017"
No wonder she's such a successful woman! She has done literally EVERYTHING! Just goes to show that sometimes you have to look into the backstory to see the full picture.
Sarah Harley is a Hufflepuff living in the NYC area. When she is not talking to random animals or collecting stickers, she is a comedy writer working in television production. Tweet her at @lumpyspacederp