By Olu Alemoru, Staff Writer
It may be a bit of bad luck or comic schadenfreude, but the good people of Connecticut are about to be entertained by one of America’s funniest Black comics.
Earlier this month Dave Chappelle verbally nuked Hartford — claiming he wouldn’t be sad if North Korea dropped a nuclear bomb on the city — after he sat out his 25-minute routine in response to hecklers.
Meanwhile, Wanda Sykes, ranked by Entertainment Weekly as one of its 25 funniest people in the nation, prepares to play Stamford, on Friday as part of her latest comedy tour. The “New Adventures of Old Christine” co-star performed in Long Beach last weekend and plays the Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage on Nov. 1 (check outwandasykes.com).
“I didn’t see the footage, but I read about it,” she said, in a phone interview on the eve of her Long Beach show. “I think he was like ‘I’ve been doing this stuff for too long to have to fight through hecklers. It’s just an unruly crowd and I’m gonna try and wait to either turn it round or just sit here.’”
For her part, Sykes said that she had been pretty fortunate that she hasn’t been heckled that much, but could see how comics might want to punish an audience.
“You just have to deal with it on a case-by-case basis,” she said. “It’s hard for the comic to crush a heckler then go back to being funny and try to get the crowd back on your side. If we’re gonna crush you, it’s gonna be brutal; but it’s hard to go back to ‘aw … I’m the mother with twins when you’ve basically just told someone to die.’”
That last zinger is a reference to her home life with her partner Alex (who she married in 2008) and their two children, who inform a good deal of her stand-up routine.
“My comedy is pretty much a snapshot of what’s going on in my life,” she said. “So I talk about everything from I’m turning 50 next year, I’m a mom with twins.”
Asked if she might give some motherly advice to twerking fiend Miley Cyrus, she demurred.
“She’s expressing herself, but she scares the hell out of me,” Sykes said. “I have little girls now and I’m thinking how can I get my daughters to not ever do that. What do I have to do? Ok, I will never wear a mullet.”
Wanda Sykes, currently on tour, had some understanding words for fellow comic Dave Chappelle.