Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
This weekend, comedian Wanda Sykes will be coming to Swarthmore as this semester’s Large Scale Event. Wanda Sykes, ranked as one of the top 25 funniest people in America by Entertainment Weekly, is well known for her standup comedy as well as her roles on television, as in the popular “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and film, such as “Over the Hedge” and “Monster-in-Law.” The LSE will be held in LPAC on Saturday, March 3, at 8:00 pm.
In an email interview through Sykes’ publicist, Sykes expressed her interest in Saturday’s show, “Since I’ve been busy working in television on the CBS show ‘The New Adventures of Old Christine,’ I’m looking forward to getting back on stage.” When asked what she knew of Swarthmore, Sykes replied, “I’ve heard you guys were really smart, which I doubt, because you booked me.”
A change from past semesters’ musical events, the Large Scale Event (LSE) planning committee is excited about the show. Douglas Gilchrist-Scott ’09, chairman of the committee, observes, “According to our campus survey, the student body wanted us to bring some more variety to the LSE.”
Eva Holman ’07 has been convinced that Sykes would be an excellent LSE for some time. Holman is curious to see how Sykes’ standup will change for a college setting and observes Sykes’ potency as a female comedian: “She proves you can give a female a microphone, a stool, and a glass of water, and she will entertain you and that she’s just as edgy and just as smart as a man.”
Holman is among the organizers of recent events to increase dialogue and appreciation of female comedians. One such event was the Funny Women Movie Marathon last weekend, organized principally by Lillian Dunn ’07. Dunn writes in an e-mail: “We showed [Wanda Sykes’] DVD at the movie marathon and it was the favorite of the night… When I heard her talk about sex and relationships from a female perspective in such an honest, skeptical, comfortable-in-her-own-skin way, I felt like I’d just been waiting to hear someone say and laugh at all that stuff for so long.”
Dunn also notes, “From a comic’s perspective, turning to a female perspective, which is underrepresented, means you are inherently offering a fresh take on things, and that is comic gold.” Other possible projects to increase appreciation of female comedians include a discussion panel on the topic later this semester.
The LSE planning committee has made some changes in the format of this event. To avoid problems with pre-reservations, ticketing will be first come first serve with student ID, though students can bring one guest, starting at 7 pm. It has also been specified that no photographs may be taken during the show. LSE committee member Laura Wolk ’09 states, “We really hope to see a large turnout of students on Saturday!” Such a turnout seems assured with such enthusiastic responses from the student body.