Reviews

JFL NorthWest: Wanda Sykes @ Queen Elizabeth Theatre – February 24th 2016

Wanda Sykes – Queen Elizabeth Theatre - Vancouver 2016

I spent my Wednesday evening ensconced in laughter at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for Wanda Sykes’ stand-up comedy, courtesy of the JFL Northwest Comedy Festival. Before Wanda took the stage, local comedian Darcy Michael warmed up the crowd and was hilarious and very entertaining. I would recommend Vancouverites who love comedy to check him out when they can. Wanda Sykes, of course saunters out on stage like it’s nobody’s business and begins her routine by taking a jab at American politics, starting with Donald Trump. “Don’t ask me what’s up with him,” she says, “I don’t f***ing know.” She proceeded to say (in reference to Trump) “You can’t do a joke on a joke,” then continued to humorously bash the Republican Party. Let’s be honest…a lot of us don’t agree with their politics, do we? My favorite part about her routine was when she dove into the family jokes. As an African-American gay woman, she pokes fun at her race and sexual orientation by claiming that being in her household is like living in the movie “Frozen,” saying, “I am a minority in my own home! I am Mammy. I take care of white people!” (She has a Caucasian wife and two blonde children) She also discussed how having blonde children can be quite creepy in the middle of the night when they decide to stand by your bed. The white and ‘blondeness’ combined with the reflection of the moon “is some scary s**t.” (Meanwhile humming a generic horror theme to go along with the so-called ‘creepiness.’) Wanda playfully inserted herself into the Southern U.S. archetype and makes a claim that her kids call her wife “Mommy,” meanwhile calling her “Mommy-Boo.” This is what being a black woman with white kids looks like. On that note, she enjoyed lovingly making fun of her French wife and the accent that comes along with it. As a foreigner, her wife will sometimes mix up some of the North American expressions and phrases, and Wanda playfully joked about the language barrier that occasionally comes between her and her partner. She, of course, shared some of them with us. When something is going on, she’ll tell Wanda to “Keep me postage” and then inquire about someone’s ‘blackground.’ Wanda says, “You don’t want to inquire about someone’s blackground when married to a black woman!” She also dove into motherhood and the lessons we must teach our children. For example, giving your daughter a Barbie Dreamhouse is (in her own words) basically “a starter kit for the Real Housewives.” It’s not right to raise your daughter and having her assume she’ll have a working elevator in her home, right? “What are we teaching our kids!?” she exclaims. Then proceeds to say, “Women should be paid more in jobs. We buy more s**t!” She comments on the fact that if she had a time-machine, she would go back and shake the very first woman who ever put on mud for make-up because living as a woman can be exhausting at times (which it is). She then continued onto her Bill Cosby encounter and ended her rant saying, “I like sex just as much as him, but only when my partners are actually awake.” She then touched on more American politics talking about how much Americans love their food and guns. She cannot keep a gun in her house. Why? She admits, “I don’t have a gun because I have too much alcohol in my house!” The thing that I love most about Wanda Sykes is her voice. Yes, she is funny, but it’s the sound of her actual, physical voice (and how she speaks) that makes her especially entertaining. When wanting to prove a point, she let’s it all out (and she’s awesome at it). Needless to say, her jokes on relationships, family, politics, and race were very well-received. And she had Vancouver laughing. Mission accomplished, I think.

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