Let it be known that comedian Katt Williams and Media's own Wanda Sykes are getting along just fine, no matter what some gossip reports might imply.
That's a relief, considering the controversy Williams caused earlier this month in an appearance on a Washington, D.C., radio station in which he chastised radio host Wanda Smith and went after actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish. As Williams said in the interview, Haddish hasn't yet paid her dues to be considered a real comedian.
Haddish, meanwhile, tweeted that she would "shower [Williams] with real love" when she next saw him. But that criticism didn't sit well with Sykes, who says she had "a conversation" with Williams about Haddish at a Netflix Emmys party following the interview. Williams promptly apologized, telling TMZ that Sykes had "chastised" him sufficiently over the incident.
"I love Katt and I respect the brother, and I just talked to him," Sykes, 54, said in a recent phone call with the Inquirer and Daily News. "We're all good. There's no beef."
Now, with that situation in the rearview, Sykes can focus on a stand-up date at Keswick Theatre on Friday. A rare local performance for the part-time Media resident, the show will serve as stop on her ongoing "Oh Well" tour, which kicked off earlier this month.
A brand new hour-long set from Sykes, the show, she says, will be a "landscape view of how I see things," from the personal — Sykes has two young children and a wife — to the political. The tour's name, in fact, comes from what the comedians feels is the predominant attitude in America under President Trump.
"That's what the tone of the country is. 'We had another shooting. … Oh well.' Or, 'People are losing their health care. … Oh well.' Or, 'Hey, the water in Baltimore is bad. … Oh well.," Sykes says. "Before, we could laugh at each other and you could at least joke about it. Now, we can't even laugh at it."
Don't, however, expect the comedian to have any material about her departure from ABC's Roseanne reboot earlier this year following star Roseanne Barr's racist Twitter tirade against a former Obama administration adviser. Sykes has moved on from the situation and won't be involved with the Roseanne-less reboot, The Connors. She does have one request for the show's creators going forward, though.
"I can't get enough Laurie Metcalf," she says. "Give me more Laurie Metcalf."
Sykes also won't be discussing living in Media, which she currently neither confirms nor denies "out of security" for her family. However, she says she is looking forward to coming back to the area to see how much it has changed since her last visit, and plans to hit restaurants like Laurel, Talula's Garden, and "any Marc Vetri spot" she can. Vegetarian restaurant Vedge, she says, is also a favorite, but leaves her craving something a little bloodier.
"I could come out of Vedge with a full stomach and still want a burger," she says. "It just feels like I need it, like, 'Damn, that was really good, but I need a cheesesteak right now.' I can't help it."
Sykes' Philly-area appearance comes on the heels of an announcement about a special set to debut next year on Netflix. Produced by her company, Push It Productions, the special will be Sykes' fifth, and her first for Netflix. Previously, she had been critical of the streaming company after it did not offer her a comparable rate to comedians like Dave Chappelle and Amy Schumer, who reportedly were paid $20 million and $13 million per special, respectively, Variety reports.
Comedian Mo'Nique called for a Netflix boycott earlier this year, saying that the company offered her just $500,000 for a special. Sykes responded in support of Mo'Nique on social media, writing on Twitter that Netflix initially offered her "less than half" of that $500,000 for a special she had been working on. Ultimately, Sykes "found another home" for the special, What Happened…Ms. Sykes, on Epix back in 2016. What caused Netflix's change of heart, Sykes says, is unclear.
"I know at Epix, they have an algorithm where they throw your name in a machine, and it spits out what they think [you should be paid]," Sykes says. "I guess this time, maybe the machine has been reading the paper or something. This round was a little better."
Still, despite her newfound home at Netflix, Sykes says a little bit of community theater isn't completely beneath her. Previously, in 2011, she took on the role of Miss Hannigan in Annie at Media Theatre in Media, which she says was "a blast."
"I love doing theater," Sykes says. "If something comes up, the right production, I would do something again in the area."
Personally, we're pulling for Sykes as Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar, or Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, but no offers are currently on the table. Until then, we'll just have to take Sykes when we can get her.