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Case Number 18245: Small Claims Court

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Wanda Sykes: I'ma Be Me

HBO // 2009 // 90 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // February 3rd, 2010

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All Rise...

Judge Brett Cullum would love to be gay, black, and married, if he got to be as funny as Wanda Sykes.

The Charge

Wanda is not scared to buy a whole watermelon and tap dance anymore. She no longer cares if the white people are watching.

The Case

Wanda Sykes isn't afraid to tackle sacred cows such as President Obama, black stereotypes, and what it is like to be an out and proud lesbian with a new set of twins. She seems most at home when she does standup, so it is no surprise that Wanda Sykes: I'ma Be Me is funnier than anything she's done lately on her rather strange talk show. Hard to believe, but this is only her second HBO Special, and lucky for us it is a full set at an hour and a half. Wanda delivers some blue material, although she really has no need to rely on foul language or any shock tactics to get her funny points across. What zings home her jokes is a razor sharp sense of irony, and that is the core of what makes Wanda more than just a black woman who is funny because she is loud. The special was filmed to air on HBO back in October, and it was taped live before a Washington D.C. audience at the beautiful Warner Theatre. Some of the material will suffer on DVD because it is a touch dated including a whole riff on the Somali pirates. When she gets on to more personal material in the second half things get a little more safe and usual for a standup routine. But one huge twist is here is a comic who is gay, black, and married to a white woman. She certainly has a lot to giggle over, especially with the recent arrival of two twins.

On DVD Wanda Sykes: I'ma Be Me is a bare bones affair. The video quality is just fine, although it certainly doesn't look like an HBO HD broadcast. Sound is in simple stereo, and does a handy job with the dialogue. I am surprised we get no extra beats from the cutting room floor or a behind the scenes special. There's not even anything to promote Wanda's talk show airing on Fox recently. Looks like somebody missed an opportunity to cross sell at least one other thing that Wanda is involved in. But as is so often is the case with comedy DVDs, the routine and preserving it seems to be the only goal.

Wanda Sykes is really very funny, and Wanda Sykes: I'ma Be Me is a celebration of what makes her so special as a comedian. It captures her at a time when several things are joining together to make the world just a little more "Wanda friendly." There's a black President, Michael Jackson has just passed away, gay marriage is debated in every state, and here she is with a wry ironic opinion on all of it. It's time for her to be herself, and make fun of anybody who can't quite get there.

The Verdict

Guilty of being hilarious, smart, and decidedly an outsider. Wanda Sykes is free to be her.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 88

Perp Profile

Studio: HBO
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Comedy
• Performance
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• None

Accomplices

• IMDb








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