When Wanda Sykes walked onto a D.C. stage in 1987 to do stand-up for the first time, she had never even set foot in a comedy club. Sykes, hen 27, had just quit her day job at the NSA to roll the dice on performing. It paid off: Sykes, now 47, has won fans for her roles on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and the “Ice Age” movies. The outspoken comedian, who was raised in this area, returns Friday with a show at the Strathmore.
What made you quit your NSA job?
Something in me said, “This is not my life; I’m not doing this [expletive] for 40 years.” I didn’t even look in the classifieds, because I knew whatever I was supposed to be doing was not going to be advertised.
You have toddler twins. Has being a mom changed your material?
My friends make me feel dumb now. They’re talking about Syria and Egypt, and I’m just, like, “Oscar was out of control on ‘Sesame Street.’ He was extra-grouchy today.”
You’re co-starring in a movie called “The Hot Flashes,” where you have to play basketball. Do you practice?
I know you think with black people it just comes with you...After the first practice, my eyelids hurt.
Last year you announced you had breast cancer. How are you now?
I’m good. I was fortunate to find it early. I don’t do a “Here’s my big cancer hunk” [act]. I’m just trying to get the message out.
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