FAIRFIELD — Nothing says success quite like doing a guest shot on “The Simpsons,” the Fox TV show that debuted some 24 seasons ago.
“It was definitely the thing that was missing,” said comic Wanda Sykes, who did the voice of a school therapist on the show this year.
A longtime fan of “The Simpson,” Sykes said she’s long wanted to be on the show.
Sykes will bring her one-woman show to Napa’s Uptown Theatre on Sept. 13. She refers to it as “An Evening with Wanda.”
“It’s basically a snapshot of what’s going on in my life and in the country,” Sykes said. “It’s how I see it. Comedy is grounded in some reality. So it’s usually about smoothing that really happened or that I observed.”
Sykes and her partner are the parents of 4-year-old boy/girl twins. Parenting takes up a good portion of her time, she said.
The children also give her a lot of comedy material.
“I used to be heavy into politics,” she said. “Now I don’t know what is going on. Is Obama still president? I have no idea,” Sykes said in jest.
She’s found parenting a lot of fun but like many mothers and fathers doesn’t want to foul up her kids.
“You want them to be polite and respectful,” she said. “And you don’t want to crush the personalities they have.”
Sykes is amazed at how her children are already wanting a good dose of independence.
“They’ll get their breakfast,” she said. “Then you see a half a box of Cheerios on the floor. It makes me laugh.”
Her comedy influences go back to some of TV’s early laugh makers such as the Smothers Brothers. And even earlier, the late Moms Mabley, considered a pioneer of the so-called “Chitlin’ Circuit” of black vaudeville.
Sykes grew up watching “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” and “The Flip Wilson Show.”
“I still laugh at ‘Sanford and Son’ to this day,” she said.
George Carlin, Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby are other favorites.
“It’s an incredible project,” Sykes said. “It’s really effective in helping people.”
She’s also involved with the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit that provides services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.
Sykes said it’s still a man’s world in comedy, to a degree.
“Things have definitely improved,” she said. “I would say that overall comedy is still a man’s world.”
Sykes said she thinks that will change when people stop identifying female comics in their own category. For some reason people often feel the need to make mention that it’s a female comic.
“But they don’t say it’s a male comic when it’s a man,” she said.
The comic had been doing some guest star work, has started a production company and wrapped up “Herlarious,” an all-female comedy show.
Her HBO special, “I’ma Be Me,” earned two 2010 Primetime Emmy awards.
She spent five years as part of HBO’s “Chris Rock Show.” As a performer and writer on the show, she was nominated for three Primetime Emmys and in 1999 won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special.
In 2001, she won the American Comedy Award for Outstanding Female Stand-Up Comic.
She won three more Emmys, in 2002, 2004 and 2005, for her work on “Inside the NFL” for Outstanding Studio Show – Weekly – Inside The NFL.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.