Wanda Sykes doing White House correspondents' dinner: Must-see C-SPAN

163421__wanda_lWanda Sykes has been tapped to perform at the 2009 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in May, which makes her the first openly gay entertainer to headline the annual event, and the first female comedian to do so since Elayne Boosler in 1993. Sykes, currently the funniest part of The New Adventures of Old Christine, found her way to a career in comedy after deeming the five years she spent working for the NSA too boring (or so she just told the Advocate). In recent years, the correspondents dinner has become increasingly high-profile, most notably with Stephen Colbert’s controversial appearance in 2006. Following that, the White House Correspondents’ Association picked safer acts, like Rich Little in 2007 and Craig Ferguson last year (a clip of her riffing on Ferguson’s Late Late Show, after the jump.)

I’m crazy about Sykes. I think her stand-up is gold, her frequent late night .appearances never disappoint, and for a relatively stodgy, self-congratulatory affair, she’s just what the C-SPAN doctors ordered. Who else thinks putting her on the bill instantly makes the Correspondents’ Association dinner a must-see?

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Comments (15 total) Add your comment
  • Anonymous

    I love Wanda but someone needs to tell Obama that it’s okay to invite non-black people to events.

  • Sara

    Given that the last 3 Correspondent’s dinners featured routines from 3 white guys, I’m delighted that someone chose a black lesbian to do the honors. After decades of white presidents and politicians selecting white performers to represent them, good on Obama for celebrating the contributions of entertainers of color. That said, yay Wanda! She’s funny and fierce – I just hope that the backlash over Colbert doesn’t prompt her to choose a safer routine, because when she gets fired up she’s amazing to watch.

  • Elena

    Is it weird that I totally forgot it was Obama and was ready for Sykes to start riffing on W? Wow, I must be really tired…

  • joe

    “I love Wanda but someone needs to tell Obama that it’s okay to invite non-black people to events.”
    love that whoever wrote this idiotic statement didn’t post a name. way to hide behind your words.
    in other news… thanks, President Obama, for bringing one of the funniest women in the world to the stage and giving her more recognition than she ever gets on TV. An extremely worthy selection.

  • Matt

    Good choice, but going to pretty hard to live up to Colbert. Remember this?


  • casualencounters.com/blog

    I’ve watched everything she’s every done TWICE and never laughed.

  • Non Black

    You mean the way he invited non-black Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration?

  • MDK

    I can’t think of a less funny person than Wanda Sykes (maybe Margaret Cho – it’s close).

  • CC

    Yep, she can perform for him, she can make him laugh, but he just can’t bring himself to let her marry the woman she loves. Change we can believe in.

  • beelkay

    Love Wanda, although I had no idea she was “openly gay”. I need to start subscribing to The Advocate or something! LOL

  • chizzle

    I love her on Curb Your Enthusiasm. WANDA YOU MY BOO.


  • dnc

    Sorry anon on 2/13 @3:43 pm, but the White House Correspondents’ Association decides who will speak at its dinner; not the President. So, perhaps your ignorant statement should have said that the someone needs to tell the White House Correspondents’ Association that it’s okay to invite non-black people to events in which President Obama may attend.

  • Seth

    President Obama go on and do your thing just like you did during the campaign, and look who won while all the critics and pundits were beating you down. I don’t know where this lie got started about the media having a love affair with Obama because everytime I listen to the news they are pounding him personally as well as his policies into the ground and he has only been in right at 60 days. So Mr. President you walked through lies, Republican assasination plots, and still made it to the presidency, I believe you can turn this economy around as well then of course the Repubs will want to take credit, and the MSM pundits will eat crow again. So the hell with the critics. Invite whomever you desire because damn if you do and damn if you don’t!

  • Robert

    Wanda Sykes was an embarrassment. So many of her jokes were in bad taste and at times the audience had a hard time laughing. Who chooses these speakers?

  • Michelle

    Colbert was and will continue to be the best comedian to host. His speech is still the only speech to be sold as an audiobook on iTunes because of popular demand. I think that says something to make even Bush laugh at himself. Colbert would have stayed classy to Obama, but still made everyone laugh. Hoping to see Colbert next year.

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