Friday, May 14, 2010

"Wanda Sykes Show," R.I.P.

Along with all the other cancellation news -- "Heroes"! "Law & Order"! -- comes word that Fox's Saturday night "Wanda Sykes Show" has not received a pick-up for a second season. A potential replacement, according to Deadline Hollywood, is a sketch comedy from Jamie Foxx and MadTV creators Fax Bahr and Adam Small.

I watched nearly every episode of "Wanda," despite the fact that it was hit-or-miss and sometimes seemed almost comically low rent -- vivacious drag queen Porsche, one of Wanda's two sidekicks on the show, couldn't sing the songs she performs during her live cabaret act due to the fact that Fox wasn't willing to pay royalties. So Porsche had to belt out public domain ditties like "Skip to My Lou" and "Jimmy Crack Corn."

The Wanda Bar segment, featuring the host gabbing about current events with three celebrity guests, ranged from great to so-so -- had the program been able to continue, Sykes would no doubt have been able to develop a stable of can't-fail stars. It was interesting to note that big names, like Chris Rock and Ray Romano, were frequently less funny and compelling than B- and C-listers such as Aisha Tyler and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

Sykes' comedian pal Keith Robinson never clicked with me, and the sketches, like her Suze Orman take-off, were usually not all that funny. But Wanda's stand-up at the top of the show and the "Wandarama" always had enough good bits to keep me coming back every week. The writers and Wanda kept trying new things, and I wish they'd had more than 20 weeks to develop them. But the ratings were soft, and the show never developed into a credible rival for "Saturday Night Live." Luckily, Sykes still has her day job on the sitcom "The New Adventures of Old Christine," as well as a thriving stand-up career.


  1. Anonymous said...

    It may also be replaced by a Spike Feresten/Dana Carvey sketch show, which I would definitely prefer over Jamie Foxx/MadTV. I only watched the "celebrity" roundtables on Wanda Sykes

  2. Talk Show News said...

    Word on Deadline Hollywood is that Fox passed on the Feresten/Carvey pilot.

  3. Anonymous said...

    She probably should have gone the route of a sketch show. That's what people want to see at 11pm on a Saturday. Not another late night show clone. ~

  4. Anonymous said...

    I *think* I watched the very first episode all the way through. I recorded the rest, and only watched the Politically Incorrect ripoff segment, FFed through everything else.

    (I liked Colin Quinn's Politically Incorrect ripoff show too.. It's not that I care about the celebs' political views, but having them try to be funny about current events is entertaining.)

  5. Anonymous said...

    "Old Christine" was canceled. I never liked Wanda anyway.

  6. lilkunta said...

    NAof OC was cancelled show she dont have her dayjob either! She has a wife & twins 2 support so I guess e'll go on a comedy club tour?