In preparation for the debut of The Wanda Sykes Show – which debuts tomorrow night on Fox and features guests Mary Lynn Rajskub (24), Daryl “Chill” Mitchell (Brothers) and Phil Keoghan (The Amazing Race) – the 45-year-old comedian and co-star of CBS’ The New Adventures of Old Christine talked to EW exclusively about the show’s laidback format and why Lindsay Lohan will probably never appear as a guest.
EW: How did the deal come about?
Wanda Sykes: It was a little less than a year in the making. My agent said we should talk about doing a talk show. I was like, I don’t want to do it. I was working on my special (for HBO). But with the presidential election, everything was heating up so they came to me again. I thought it’d be cool to have some kind of an outlet where I can go out and speak on things that are happening right now. And also, being a new mom (Sykes and her wife of nearly a year have 5-month-old twins) I’ll have somewhat of a normal schedule and won’t have to be on the road doing standup. So it became a little more appealing to me.
Fox hasn’t had the best success with late-night talk shows.
You don’t have to tell me. I know what can happen and it can go horribly. I’m just trying to be a little optimistic.
Can you juggle this and The New Adventures of Old Christine?
Old Christine is so well organized and we’re in our sixth season so we pretty much know what we’re doing over there. I’m doing 17 episodes this season. We have fun. In fact, this past week, things were going a little rough over at the Wanda Sykes Show so being at Old Christine is kind of nice to have to go and hide out. It’s like my little cave.
Will you do a monologue? Will there be guests?
Yeah and there will be guests. I’m gonna have panel guests so it’s more laid back. I don’t want them to feel like they have to know all of American history because I don’t know that sh–. They shouldn’t have to know all the world leaders and stuff. It’s a little more like hanging out, like if you’re hanging out at my place on a Saturday night. You know, we’ll have a few drinks, we’ll talk a little politics and some pop culture.
You will be serving drinks?
Oh, hell yeah, we will definitely have quite a few drinks. That’s the only way I will do the show. You just can’t have drinks and then have guests like Mike Tyson and Lindsay Lohan. It doesn’t work. You can’t have any of the ultimate fighters all liquored up.
So what will the format be?
I’ll open the show and then I have a sidekick/buddy, Keith Robinson, who is a really is a good friend of mine. He’s also a comedian and he knows how to push my buttons. Any argument we get into Keith just takes it somewhere that’s totally wrong and just crazy.
What would be your perfect lineup of guests?
If we can start with Condoleezza Rice and then throw in a maybe a — let me think … an Andy Roddick and a Dave Chappelle.
What happens after the group discussion?
The panel stays for inappropriate games where everything goes to hell. That’s when we’ll really get in trouble.
Photo Credit: Fox