May 31, 2012

By Jo-Carolyn Goode Special to the NNPA from the Houston Style Magazine

The usual outspoken, controversial comedian Wanda Sykes has been a lot quieter. She has been not so opinionated on the issues and not so vocal in the public eye. What gives? Her twin daughters. Sykes is becoming a family woman, happily spending her time catching up on the happenings on Sesame Street versus being glue to contributors on CNN. “I use to be really political and knew everything that was going on with the world. Well that has all changed now that I have kids, “ laughs Sykes. It is enough to make her just stop and laugh at life.

Talking about her children makes Sykes smile and be in awe at the same time. Its ridiculous how much my life has changed now that I have kids,” said Sykes, who admits now she almost needs permission to use her own house because the kids have taken over. “I am enjoying life. I am happy and all,” said Sykes. “But it is hard.” Speaking about what she calls the secret society of parenting, Sykes said other parents don’t tell everything there is to know about parenting. “It is hard but its good.” It is good enough that she can keep laughing at it.

Another thing that Sykes had to learn to laugh at was breast cancer. In early 2011, when Sykes went in to have breast reduction surgery, the cancer was discovered. She had a very serious form of cancer known as Ductal Carcinoma in Situ. Sykes made a very difficult decision by having a double mastectomy. A decision she does not regret. According to Sykes it was either taking the chance that the breast cancer might come back again, which was likely since she had a family history of it, or remove the occurrence of breast cancer altogether. She chose the later for her family. She wanted to be around to watch her girls grow up. Today after the turmoil of the healing process, Sykes is able to find the humor in cancer and has a bit about it in her current comedy tour.

Never one to be idle, Sykes is preparing for the release of Ice Age: Continental Drift this summer. She is the voice of Granny, Sid’s grandmother who really can’t see or hear. Sykes says, “ I think Granny has selective hearing.” Granny goes along for the ride with Manny and the gang unbeknown to them as she is accidently stowed away. The guys’ misfortune makes for a hilariously funny time for movie watchers. The film opens this summer on July 13.

After every film wrap up or television show tapping Sykes says she finds herself running back to the stage. “That where it all started for me and where everything makes sense.” The power to make people laugh is gift that Sykes is grateful to have. “Its wonderful to look out and see people double over in laugher with tears. There’s no feeling like it,” expressed Sykes. It is that feeling that lets her know stand up comedy is what she is suppose to do.

It is a given that comedy is truly Sykes’ calling. Look for her somewhere in America with her comedy tour that she is currently on the road with. Then head to the box office to catch her in Ice Age: Continental Drift this summer. Finally, see her in the soon to be out independent film “The Hot Flashes.” Keep up with Wanda Sykes at

Category: Arts & Culture