Wanda Sykes has been called one of the funniest stand-up comics by her peers and ranks among Entertainment Weekly's 25 Funniest People in America. Her smart-witted stand-up has sent her career in many different areas.
She was recently seen in Comedy Central's Wanda Does It (2004), where she tried various non-showbiz jobs. Her first book, "Yeah I Said It," published by Simon and Schuster, hit bookstores in September 2004, which is a hilarious collection of essays touching on life, family, and current events.
In 2003, she was seen on Fox's Wanda at Large (2003), in which she wrote, produced, and starred. She also has a one-hour Comedy Central special called Wanda Sykes: Tongue Untied (2003). In addition, she can be seen on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000) or heard on Comedy Central's Crank Yankers (2002) as the voice of Gladys Murphy.
Wanda was born in Portsmouth, Virginia, and raised in Maryland, the daughter of Marion Louise (Peoples), a banker, and Harry Ellsworth Sykes, a US Army colonel. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Hampton University. Her stand-up career began at a Coors Light Super talent Showcase in Washington, DC, where she performed for the first time in front of a live audience.
She spent 5 years as part of the HBO's critically acclaimed The Chris Rock Show (1997). As a performer and writer on the show, she was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards and in 1999 won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Special. In 2001, she won the American Comedy Award for Outstanding Female Stand-Up Comic. She won a second Emmy in 2002 for her work on Inside the NFL (1977). In 2003, Wanda earned a Comedy Central Commie Award for Funniest TV Actress. Other writing credits include the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards (1999), The MTV Movie Awards, The 74th Annual Academy Awards (2002), The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show (1997), and Wanda at Large (2003).
She also appeared in the feature films Pootie Tang (2001), Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000), Down to Earth (2001), and Monster-in-Law (2005).