An interview with Wanda Sykes, who performs a pair of shows in Atlantic City June 15-16 at Borgata.
If you think cancer isn’t a laughing matter, you probably haven’t spoken with Wanda Sykes lately.
Last year, following breast reduction surgery, Sykes was diagnosed with a non-invasive “stage zero” form of breast cancer known as ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS. The comedian and actress chose the most radical form of treating the disease: a double mastectomy.
She opted for the aggressive approach by having both breasts removed for a very good reason. Sykes has a long family history of breast cancer, and she wanted to make sure she would never again have to face breast cancer.
But Sykes’ medical condition did actually have a silver lining, to hear the comedian tell it.
“On the bright side, I’m 48, and now I have perky boobs,” she says with a big laugh during a recent phone chat.
Where’s a rim shot and a cymbal crash when you need one? But seriously, folks, Sykes had three very good reasons for choosing the most radical form of breast cancer treatment: her wife, Alex, and the couple’s twin daughters, whom Alex gave birth to three years ago.
“I’m a parent now, I have two young kids and I’m just too blessed,” she says. “My life is too good. I wasn’t going to play around with [the cancer].”
Sykes approached her cancer with the same fearless, can-do attitude she brings to both her professional and personal lives. The four-time Emmy Award winner is willing to try just about anything at least once, and even twice if things don’t work out the first time.
Like a TV talk show, for instance. In 2009, Sykes had a short-lived, 21-episode run as host of a late-night Saturday talk show on Fox that mostly aired opposite NBC’s Saturday Night Live.
“At that time, for me, the talk show was the right project,” she says. “We didn’t have enough time to figure out the right way to do it, but I had a great time and I was thankful for the opportunity.”
Never a quitter, she’d even consider another talk show, but with one caveat.
“Not with Fox, that’s for damned sure,” she says with a laugh.
I’ve been talking about racist dolphins. We were out in Hawaii and we were swimming with the dolphins, but they were only swimming with white people. What’s that about?"
With just eight original studio albums in 27 years, they barely rate a blip on the popular music recording radar. Let’s face it, the Saw Doctors aren’t exactly a household name — unless your household is located in Ireland. In that case you just may have a shrine to the band, especially if you’re into Irish-flavored rock ‘n roll.
A comprehensive listing of entertainment coming to the Atlantic City casinos, Boardwalk Hall and Bader Field.
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Wanda Sykes has made her mark in comedy. Considered "one of the funniest stand-up comics" by her peers, she has achieved success not only on the stage, but also in movies such as Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps and Pootie Tang, as a writer and performer on The Chris Rock Show, and has appeared on TV shows such as Fox's Wanda at Large, which she wrote, produced and starred in. She can currently be seen in the CBS comedy The New Adventures of Old Christine and in her HBO comedy special Wanda Sykes: Sick & Tired, which debuted in October 2006. We recently spoke with the consistently busy comic about her TV roles, stand-up, hecklers and the business of being funny. You seem to be the hardest working woman in show business. Well, I don't know. I love doing it so, I guess, yeah. I'm lucky. What's the best way to make money in comedy? To me, the stage has longevity. If you build up a career where you're a working comic, then you can always work. [With] TV, yeah, the money is great, but once the show is cancelled then what? Tell us about the path it took to get you where...
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