By Monica McGivern
By Travis Cohen
By Hannah Sentenac
By Daniel Reskin
By Hans Morgenstern
By George Martinez
By Pablo Chacon Alvarez
By Ciara LaVelle
Why were you banned from Hawaii?
On my show I said, "Name me one great Hawaiian inventor. Look around the house, find me the light bulb, the automobile, or the toaster, and tell me what great Hawaiian invented it." And no one could come up with an answer. I was resting my case, which is there's differences in people and differences in cultures. Sometimes it's math skills and sometimes it's vertical leap and sometimes it's putting a pig in the ground. And my job, as a commentator on life, is to find those differences and point them out. And it's not to say that the guy who's good in math is better than the guy who puts the pig in the ground, I'm just here to tell you they're different. You can decide which one's better or worse — and [as] a matter of fact, I'd rather be the guy who puts the pig in the ground than the guy crunching numbers; the guy with the pig is enjoying himself more. And yes, I did call Hawaiians stupid on my radio show, but people should try to do three, four hours of radio a day unscripted... But, really, if your kid has a bad heart valve, and they need surgery, and you've got a Japanese doctor, an Indian doctor, a Jewish doctor, or a Hawaiian doctor, which one are you picking? Then explain to me why.
Finally, we spoke to Wanda Sykes, whom you've certainly seen everywhere — Curb Your Enthusiasm, Almighty, The New Adventures of Old Christine, and, in her most brilliant role to date as Biggie Shortie, Pootie Tang.
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New Times: One of the funniest and most under-appreciated movies in which you've acted is Pootie Tang — [Wanda girlishly giggles] — which stemmed from a Chris Rock Show sketch. What was the inspiration behind your character, Biggie Shortie, the feisty streetwalker who utters the hilarious line, "Just 'cause a girl like to dress fancy and stand on the street corner near some whores, you automatically think she's hookin'?"
Wanda Sykes: That whole movie was from the mind of Louis C.K. Louie came up with the character Pootie Tang — that was his whole crazy world. He wrote the movie and came to me and said, "Listen, this is what I want you to play. You're not a hooker. You're not a prostitute. You just like to hang out with them and kind of dress like them, but you're more of a party promoter-type person." And I was like, "Oh, OK, this will be fun." And yeah, I just went with it. We all kind of did.
You lead a pretty normal life with your partner Alex and your kids. With all the fuss over same-sex marriages, do you think there's that much of a difference between two women being married as opposed to a man and a woman being married?
Nah, it's all the same shit. It's the same problems. In every relationship, there's always one person that thinks you're having enough sex, and there's always the other person who'd like to have a lot more sex. And that's basically what all marriages boil down to: One always thinks you should be fucking a whole lot more.
What's your take on racial profiling?
Everyone does it, and it's wrong, and I understand it, but it's still wrong. I mean, just because there's a type of people that has done some evil shit, blown up some stuff, you kind of go, All right...OK? But it's wrong to identify a whole group as evil people who blow up things. I mean, I do it. When I see hillbillies, I run the other way. I mean, I'm sure there's nice hillbillies, but they scare the shit out of me. So, we're all guilty of it. To me, if my car broke down, and a hillbilly pulled up, and somebody who appeared to be of Muslim faith pulled up, I'm getting in the car with the terrorist.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Well, right now with the kids, I guess it would be speed. Or the ability to fly. Yeah, I would love to fly.