By Miki Turner
Special to Page 3
If there's a funnier -- or busier -- woman on the planet than Wanda Sykes, let her stand up and be recognized.
The diminutive comedienne is America's reigning court jester and workaholic: she recently wrapped "Monster-in-Law" with Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda, has a new book coming out in September and will reprise her role as "colorful" commentator on HBO's "Inside the NFL." Additionally, she has a new TV series beginning in October on Comedy Central called "Wanda Does It," and is about to embark on a fall comedy tour.
Page 3 caught up, literally, with Sykes in Chicago recently to get the scoop on her going-ons and her take on the 2005 NFL season.
1. What team do you root for?
Wanda Sykes: Well, I grew up a Redskins fan and now that Joe Gibbs is back I'm pretty excited about this season.
Any predictions on the upcoming season?
I never make any predictions because you never know who's going to get hurt. Anything could happen. Michael Vick could sprain his ankle getting out of the shower. There's all kind of crazy stuff that happens. So, right now, the only team that looks solid to me is the Redskins.
2. Do you ever switch over to the Ravens when the Redskins are stinking up the joint?
I like Ray Lewis, but I root for the Redskins. Really, the Colts are Baltimore. I don't know who these Ravens are!
3. What's the coolest thing about being on "Inside the NFL?"
The coolest part is being on the sidelines at Lambeau Field. Just watching the game, especially at Lambeau, from the sidelines is like the most amazing thing.
What's so cool about Lambeau?
First of all, that's all those people have to do in Green Bay! They ain't got nothing. There is nothing to do in Green Bay. Green Bay is so boring that once I had to spend two days there and we saw "Pluto Nash." That's how boring it is! So these people, they're like on fire about football. They love it. They breathe it, they drink it. Man ... and all the history and everything.
4. A lot of women sportswriters always claim they're not looking when they go into the locker room. What's the deal with you?
You try not to look -- you really do -- but I'm only 5-foot-2 so everything is like right at my eye level! I'm trying to be respectful. And these guys, they have great bodies so they don't give a damn, toweling off right in front of you! I'm like, I'm going to come back when you all are dry!
5. What was your take on the Ricky Williams situation?
Hey, you know what? I think across the board, marijuana should be legal. I mean, it's ridiculous. If a brother wants to smoke weed, let him! If he can run 200 yards a game high, c'mon! He's an overachiever. He's like, "Let me smoke some weed. If I play sober, I'm going to hurt somebody!" So, just let me just slow it down, smoke some weed and at least give people a chance to tackle me. He's a young guy and I'm pretty sure that everything that came along with football and you know, being under the microscope and all that, I'm sure it just got to him. So he said, "I'm just going to leave the country, travel and be high!"
How did you feel about the whole Lakers debacle?
Man, I loved it. I loved it. I don't mean him any harm, but it would be cool if Kobe was under house arrest for the whole season. They have no Phil Jackson, no Shaq and Kobe's at home struggling. That would be so funny to me. To me, they're greedy. You have an abundance of wealth and you just want more. As for the Lakers, it serves them right.
6. Were you an athlete at all growing up?
I was a big tomboy and I played a lot of neighborhood stuff. In junior high I played basketball and ran a little track. After that I never could pass the drug test!
7. You have a book coming out this month, what's it about?
It's just a collection of jokes from my stand-up. Probably about 75 to 80 percent of the stuff is all new material. It's just me going off on different topics and issues -- politics, relationships, sex, crime and just about everything. If you want to know how I feel about something, it's in the book ("Yeah, I Said It," Sept. 21).
8. Who came up with the concept of your show?
Lance Crouther (her frequent collaborator and executive producer ... OK, he's "Pootie Tang") and I were on the set of "Wanda at Large" and we were kicking some ideas back and forth while waiting for them to set the lighting for the next scene. It was taking forever. I was like, "Man, look at this. This is ridiculous. I can get up there and do that. I can fix a light. I can do everything around here." Then we started talking about how funny it would be if I did a show going about doing a lot of different jobs outside of show business. I would do things like go to people's homes and install cable and do all these different jobs.
9. What job did you dig the most and which one did you hate the most?
I was a limo driver and that wasn't cool. The thing is -- and what made me do it is -- that when I get in the car I just kind of like to ride, especially if it's in the morning. Just let me get in the back and listen to some music and chill out. But I always get like a talkative driver. They all ask me the same questions. You don't want to be rude, but I always said if I were a limo driver I wouldn't talk. I'd give people a nice, quiet ride. It was crazy how many people just started talking to me. I had this one woman, she talked non-stop. I picked her up at LAX and she was going to Malibu. I didn't make it all the way to Malibu. I pulled over. Luckily there was another car from the company trailing me. She was a first grade teacher so I guess talking to adults just made her day, but I couldn't take it!
The best, I guess because it was exciting, was when I was repossessing cars. That was dangerous, but it was fun. After you take the car you have to go knock on the person's door and let them know that you have their ride. And that's not a good feeling when you're in the 'hood knocking on Mr. Martinez's door and trying to get his keys after you have his ride hooked up outside. That made me a little nervous, but the bullet-proof vest gave me a little more comfort.
10. How hard is it to balance all your different jobs? Will you be back on "Curb Your Enthusiasm"?
I talked to Larry (David) about a month ago and he said he had something for me, so yeah, I'll be back. It's tough. I don't even have time to get high now. I have to schedule my weed. So, if I get a free day, which I rarely do, I say 'oh boy, I can smoke today!'
Miki Turner covers the good life in L.A. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.