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November 27, 2014

Wanda Sykes On 'Christine,' 'Curb,' Her New Late-Night Show & Her Personal Life

by Maggie Furlong, posted Oct 22nd 2009 9:28PM
The Wanda Sykes ShowThe set of 'The Wanda Sykes Show' is like a cross between a late-night stage and a game-show set, but judging by the setup and clips we've seen, it's more about the party than the promotion with her guests.

With the set decorated in bright shades of red and purple, there's a giant TV screen to ensure everyone in the 140-seat live audience gets a good view of the action and a big letter "W" that turns to reveal a fully stocked bar. It's like the ultimate hangout where celebs come to play, and that's just the way Wanda likes it.

At a recent press preview, we were shown a brief sizzle reel in which Wanda Sykes mocks Ann Coulter, heckles her panel guests for not partaking in the lovely selection of alcohol (all bottles have generic labels, incidentally -- like JB McDaniels Whiskey -- until some smart company decides to sponsor the weekly festivities) and tries to recycle a box of sex toys with her pal and 'New Adventures of Old Christine' co-star Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

We snagged Wanda for a minute to find out exactly what her show will be like ("loosey-goosey") and what inappropriate games she's got up her sleeve (homeless or French, anyone?). We also got her to dish on her fate on both 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' and 'Christine' ... and then we got personal. Wife, kids -- keep reading for more.The Wanda Sykes ShowThe set of 'The Wanda Sykes Show' is like a cross between a late-night stage and a game-show set, but judging by the setup and clips we've seen, it's more about the party than the promotion with her guests.

With the set decorated in bright shades of red and purple, there's a giant TV screen to ensure everyone in the 140-seat live audience gets a good view of the action and a big letter "W" that turns to reveal a fully stocked bar. It's like the ultimate hangout where celebs come to play, and that's just the way Wanda likes it.

At a recent press preview, we were shown a brief sizzle reel in which Wanda Sykes mocks Ann Coulter, heckles her panel guests for not partaking in the lovely selection of alcohol (all bottles have generic labels, incidentally -- like JB McDaniels Whiskey -- until some smart company decides to sponsor the weekly festivities) and tries to recycle a box of sex toys with her pal and 'New Adventures of Old Christine' co-star Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

We snagged Wanda for a minute to find out exactly what her show will be like ("loosey-goosey") and what inappropriate games she's got up her sleeve (homeless or French, anyone?). We also got her to dish on her fate on both 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' and 'Christine' ... and then we got personal. Wife, kids -- keep reading for more.

What's your favorite part of the set?
The bar. The big "W" -- spin that baby around, the bar is open. That's when I know ... all right, we're cruising now. We're cruising.

And what will be the basic format of the show each week?
Don't hold me to this because, you know, we're loosey-goosey. But the basic format is monologue; then we'll go into what we call our "Strong But Wrong" segment. That's when I hang out with my friend Keith Robinson. We have a brother-sister type relationship -- he's like my closest friend, and he's incredibly funny, so no matter how the conversation starts, it's gonna end in some type of ridiculous argument, and Keith is usually the one who's the idiot. And my thing is, I want to bring people in from all over to let him know that he's an idiot. [Laughs] I'll bring in all kinds of experts to shoot him down.

So after Keith does his thing ...
From there, we'll move over to "Wandarama" -- that's where we see all the video pieces, and we may have a guest who'll be doing some type of in-studio demonstration. It's wide open. "Wandarama" closes with the big three-minute piece, like the one you saw with Julia [Louis-Dreyfus]. That's when I tried to get the adult entertainment industry to go green. Recycle, reuse, reduce!

And then the drinking starts?
Yep! After Wandarama, that's when we swing that "W" around and the bar is open, and we bring out our panel guests, and we'll have a discussion. The discussion will not be about show business ... unless there's something stupid in show business that happened. We're just hanging out on a Saturday night -- we're gonna hang out the way the rest of America is in their homes. Then, there's always the person who gets too drunk, and they start saying inappropriate sh--, so that's when we go into "Inappropriate Games."

The inappropriate game we saw tonight was Jew Fro or Bro Fro -- what other games do you have planned, off the top of your head?
Gay, Black or Cripple. Homeless or French.

I know you try to keep your personal life personal, but with a wife and twin babies, will there be family talk?
There will be family talk ... yeah, I will talk about my personal life. But it's not gonna be that weird, strange Kathie Lee Gifford thing. Remember how she did that with Cody? No, no, no ...

You know "Wanda Sykes' Wife" has been on top of Google searches all week ...
Really? I'll have to let her know.

Does that freak you out that people are so curious?
No, I know her! I'm not searching for her -- I know who she is. [Laughs] But you know what? I'm in show business ... she's not in show business. I let her do her thing. Not let -- she tells me what she's gonna do. She supports me in everything I do. She has a regular job. Let the woman have a real job!

How many more cast members do you think your character Barb can marry on 'New Adventures of Old Christine'?

I'm up to two, right? I almost got with Hamish [Linklater's character, Matthew]. Well, I got with him -- I just hit that. Barb hit it. Hit it and quit it. [Laughs] Hopefully the thing with Richard will work out -- we'll see -- but Barb is not getting deported. That was the first thing I said to Fox when we talked about doing this show. I said, "Look, I'm not gonna quit 'Old Christine.' So if we can work that out, let's do it."

And what about 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' -- will you have any time to go back if there's another season?
I did one episode [this season] ... if Larry [David] comes back for another season and asks me to come over, of course. I love doing that show.

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