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Wanda Sykes Adds A Feminist Edge To Her Role As Anchor For The Daily Show

by Emily Lauletta

Last week, comedian Leslie Jones commanded The Daily Show desk, receiving rave reviews and giving us iconic lines such as  “Men! Why are you so mad? You need to calm your ass the fuck down!” So far, comedian Wanda Sykes has proven to be a worthy successor, with her first two shows airing on January 23rd and January 24th.

Sykes began her first show by reminding us of her signature wit and charm, stating “My wife asked me to unload the dishwasher and I needed an out, so I’m so happy to be here.” She went on to provide us with the headlines of the day, a classic bit on The Daily Show. Some highlights include her jokes about the FBI finding more classified documents in a private residence of President Joe Biden. Sykes chimed in stating that Biden needs to stop hoarding these documents and employ the Marie Kondo technique, as Sykes puts it, “This list of spies does not spark joy.” On the classified documents, Sykes also stated, “this does not bother me at all, the man has been in public office for 238 years” alluding to the fact that any found documents would probably be irrelevant by this point. Sykes’ guest for the night was comedian and her co-star on the Netflix sitcom The Upshaws, Mike Epps. The two had a lively conversation about what it’s like to travel the country and perform stand-up.

Sykes’ continued to be hilarious throughout her second show, starting the night off with “I thought we covered all the news yesterday but turns out, there’s more.” Sykes once again started by presenting the day’s headlines, first discussing the recent Academy Award nominations. Sykes gave a shout-out to Michelle Yeoh, who has been nominated for her leading role in the critically acclaimed film, Everything Everywhere All at Once, making her the first Asian best actress nominee. Sykes then discussed the bad news about the nominations, that no women had been nominated in the best director category this year. Sykes joked, “But remember they gave [the Academy Award for best director] to Jane Campion last year, so I guess this year they thought, “Eh that should hold you broads for the next 50 years.””

Some of Sykes other greatest hits of the episode included her discussion of the recent senate hearing concerning Ticketmaster after the ticketing website majorly fumbled ticket sales for Taylor Swift’s: The Eras tour. On the negative fan reaction to Ticketmaster, Sykes stated, “It’s about time someone held Ticketmaster accountable, and the Swifties are the only ones who can get this done, they’re the most politically organized group in America.” 

Sykes also provided some much-needed jokes on George Santos, the now disgraced representative from New York, who has been exposed for telling lies about his past. Given that even more about Santos’ past has come to fruition over the past few weeks, Sykes joked, “It’s been a bad week for George Santos, or as he calls it, a good week.”

Sykes ended her second show with guest Katha Pollitt, an award-winning columnist for The Nation, esteemed feminist, and author of many books including her latest, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights. The two had a thoughtful discussion on the state of abortion rights in the United States. Pollitt provided us some slightly reassuring insight on the devastating Dobbs decision, stating “Dobbs has woken up pro-choicers in the most amazing way. ” 

So far, Wanda Sykes has made The Daily Show her own (in the best way) and lived up to the expectations set by previous guest host, Leslie Jones. Sykes has been addressing issues that matter, while also providing us comfort with her take-no-shit sense of humor. You can catch Sykes’ last two shows on January 25th and January 26th at 11 PM ET on Comedy Central. Some of the upcoming guest hosts you can expect to see on The Daily Show include DL Hughley, Chelsea Handler, and Sarah Silverman.

Top photo: The Daily Show on YouTube

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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