Not only is Wanda Sykes joining the predominately male landscape of late-night talk show hosts, her Fox show is kicking off when that landscape is getting a bit more crowded — George Lopez's talkfest debuts two nights later on TBS and The Mo'Nique Show recently began on BET. Sykes, 45, doesn't seem to be worried about that, though; she's just excited to bring something new to the table. Some of her first guests include 24's Mary Lynn Rajskub, Brothers' Daryl Mitchell and Phil Keoghan from The Amazing Race.
Find out what Sykes has to say ...
TVGuide.com: How are you going to bring the viewers in?
Sykes: I hope after doing standup for over 20 years that people get an idea of what I do. Being on one night a week, instead of having to crank it out night after night, my one night a week is going to be poppin'. It's gotta be funny. I can't do the jokes that just go on the surface, I gotta dig deeper. I hope I bring that. I'm setting a high standard for what goes on in the show, so hopefully that audience will appreciate that and love it and tune in.
TVGuide.com: Why decide to do this now?
Sykes: It just felt right. There's so much going on in the country: First black president, I'm married, I have kids. The opportunity to be out here every week, with my face out here, especially an African American woman and a lesbian, too, how many times do you get an opportunity to have a network show? For people who don't know anyone who's gay or lesbian, they'll go 'yeah' and see that I love my family just like they love their family. That's not my agenda, but when you have an opportunity to also bring that in there, yeah, of course, but my main goal is to do a funny show.
TVGuide.com: Describe some of what we'll see on The Wanda Sykes Show.
Sykes: I will do a monologue. There's a piece with my friend Keith [Robinson]. This is the first time you'll actually see me with someone who knows me. I can't fake it with Keith, he knows me and he calls me on my bullsh--. It'll be great to have that relationship. Also, we have what we call Wandarama, which is the weekend review. We'll have a lot of video clips and it'll end with a big produced three-minute piece. We have the panel guests with my other friend Porsche, who's a drag queen. I treat this show as my time where I can also hang out with my friends. There might not be some big celebrities come through, but it'll be my real friends.
TVGuide.com: Is anyone safe from ridicule on your show?
Sykes: No. If you do something dumb, I'm going to call you out on it. I don't think I'm mean-spirited. If you haven't done anything dumb, you don't have to worry about it.
The Wanda Sykes Show premieres Saturday, Nov. 7, at 11/10c on Fox