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Believe it or not, there was a time when Wanda Sykes didn’t make people laugh—not for a living, at least. In the ’80s and early ’90s, Sykes worked as a procurement officer at the National Security Agency. (Think CIA, but with software.) Thankfully, her feisty personality and sharp sense of humor was undeniable, so she traded her high-level government clearance for a life doing standup. Before she reached success as a performer, though, she managed to make her way as a writer, penning jokes and sketches for The Keenan Ivory Wayans Show and The Chris Rock Show.
While she headlined a bunch of comedy specials throughout the ’00s, it was her scene-stealing role on Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm that really thrust her into the spotlight. So is the wisecracking Wanda we’ve come to love on-screen the same sassy lady in real life? “I’m not that way at all,” Sykes admitted to Atlantic City Weekly in 2013. “I’m a sweetheart. People think I’m the way I am onstage. People want me to call their mom and curse them out. That’s not me when I’m out shopping. I’m really nice. I’m an easy-going person.” Though Sykes keeps a busy schedule of writing, acting and producing, she’s still about to travel the country doing standup. Don’t miss your chance to see one of Entertainment Weekly’s top 25 funniest comics. With ScoreBig, you save on every Wanda Sykes ticket, every day.
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