On Saturday night’s premiere of The Wanda Sykes Show, Sykes skewered the conservative political agenda, introduced us to her favorite drag queen, appointed herself "the president’s Tell People Where To Go And What To Kiss Czar," took us sex toy shopping and coaxed her guest panel into a drunken round of Inappropriate Games.
So much for all that worry that the Fox network was going to water her down!
For years networks have been courting Wanda Sykes, offering her a variety of talk show opportunities, but it wasn’t until Barack Obama won the presidency, Prop. 8 passed in California and Madtv vacated its Saturday slot that the the timing felt right to her.
Last week she told TV Guide:
There’s so much going on in the country: First black president, I’m married, I have kids. The opportunity to be out here every week, with my face out here, especially an African American woman and a lesbian, too. How many times do you get an opportunity to have a network show?
As soon as Fox began airing Wanda Sykes Show promos, both Sykes and her wife, Alex, trended on Twitter. In fact, "Wanda Sykes’ wife" was one of the top Google searches the last week of October.
Sykles won’t shy away from talking about Alex, or about their young twins, but she promised that she wasn’t going to do "that weird, strange Kathie Lee Gifford thing," where she shares all of the minutiae about her family life.
Nor does she plan to turn her show into an LGBT soap box.
For people who don’t know anyone who’s gay or lesbian, they’ll go "yeah" and see that I love my family just like they love their family. That’s not my agenda, but when you have an opportunity to also bring that in there, yeah, of course.
Last night, she made one well-placed jab on behalf of the gay community. In her "Wandarama" segment, she addressed the recent midterm elections:
The Republicans were quick to claim on Tuesday that their victories were a repudiation of President Obama. The truth is, voters in Virginia, New Jersey and New York said their decisions had nothing to do with Obama. And voters in Maine, who voted down gay marriage, said their decisions had nothing to do with fairness or compassion.
It was one of the least subversive jokes of the night.
The show opened with an SNL-esque sketch called "Sykes vs. Coulter." Sadly, it wasn’t the fisticuffs cage match the title implies — but it did end with Sykes wearing a pair of handmade, construction paper eyelashes: "Ooh, look at me: I’ve got big, floppy eyelashes to distract you from all the bulls–t I’m saying!"