Wanda Sykes JFL42, Toronto ON, September 23
Published Sep 24, 2018We watch comedians for two reasons: to make us laugh really hard, and to get an intelligent perspective on what's actually going on in the world. Usually the comics that give you the hardest belly laughs don't make you think about things too deeply, while the comics who tackle nothing but politics, religion, and inequality mostly just make you chuckle.
Wanda Sykes is the one of the few who provides the full package. Discussing slavery and the secret service just as proficiently as she told stories about raising her family and keeping her marriage fresh, her hour brought up thoughtful points just as often as it made you giggle.
Sykes is a master of her craft, and she should be acknowledged as one of the greatest comics of her generation far more often. Sykes' hilarious impersonation of Trump's thought process as he decides to exaggerate his statistics and successes was so dead-on that you would swear that she was psychic, or at least had a degree in psychology. Her jokes about why white people need black friends but black people don't need white friends were as comical as they were interconnected with American history. Best of all, her closer about losing estrogen and growing a beard because of menopause was hysterically honest about aging as much as it was a witty take on gender politics.
Opener Keith Robinson introduced himself as "the pickle you get with your sandwich… you didn't order that pickle, but you eat it, and you enjoy it." As promised, he was definitely a charming complement to the main course. His joke about how you can afford to name your children certain names based on your credit score was as original as it was funny, as was his story about driving himself home while he was in the middle of having a stroke.