Wanda Sykes

The brash and brassy Wanda Sykes had a decade of standup comedy experience behind her when her big break came in 1997, the year Chris Rock asked her to sign on with his new HBO vehicle. She joined the writing team for The Chris Rock Show and stayed there for five years, winning the 1999 Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special along the way. Becoming a field correspondent for HBO's Inside the NFL introduced her to sports fans while appearances in films like Pootie Tang and Down to Earth, both released in 2001, put her on the big screen. In 2003 she had her own hourlong special on Comedy Central, Tongue Untied, and starred in her own Fox network sitcom, Wanda at Large. In the second season, Fox moved the show to the dreaded "Friday night death slot" and it was soon canceled. Sykes' disappointment with Fox was just one of the beefs covered on her standup CD debut, Sick & Tired, which appeared in early 2007. ~ David Jeffries

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