Sunday, October 11, 2009

HBO: Wanda Sykes' "I'ma Be Me"

The Special: Wanda Sykes' "I'ma Be Me"
Runtime: 90 minutes
As seen on: HBO October 10, 2009 (and repeated until the start of the zombie apocalypse)

She's been a sitcom actress, a famous stand-up comic, a maker of prank phone calls. Tonight, she's the star of I'ma Be Me, a rather large collection of jokes and other material. Watching the special, it's clear that what you're seeing is a mix of monologue-style jokes on recent events like Obama and other political happenings with a series of personal stories about the goings-on for her life.

Most HBO specials, particularly George Carlin's, were about an hour long. This length was about perfect because it didn't ever feel like it had been going on for too long, plus it had the added bonus of being the appropriate length for a cassette or CD. In the MP3 era, time has no meaning, and should this ever see release on an audio format, well, length isn't an issue. The material is enjoyable, Wanda's clearly having a good time, and seems to have a great rapport with her Washington D.C. crowd.

Other topics covered include: waxing, babies, aging, and what appears to be the female equivalent of being kicked in the balls. At 90 minutes the show is about 30 minutes too long-- none of the material is bad, it's just that our MTV-addled brains are used to shorter bursts of comedy. She had enough material to do two specials here, so this is more of a king-sized mega-performance that her fans will no doubt love and fans of comedy in general will likely enjoy.

Worth seeing! Just budget some time or watch it in pieces.

Also notable: She reveals her age during the performance. I personally would not have guessed this one. Also, she's getting her own talk show on Fox shortly, if what she's done here carries over to broadcast TV she's probably going to have a great run.

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