Motivational quotes by Emmy Award winner Wanda Sykes on life, being a woman, and comedy

As comedian and writer Wanda Sykes turns 57, here are some of her motivational quotes that will inspire you to get things done, face challenges, and also laugh.

Motivational quotes by Emmy Award winner Wanda Sykes on life, being a woman, and comedy

Sunday March 07, 2021,

4 min Read

Wanda Sykes’ went from being the funny one in her group to carving a niche on the comedy scene. She started her career at the National Security Agency and later pivoted to become a stand-up comedian in 1987. 

Her witty edge has paid off and over the decades, she has appeared in various film and television productions and is among the finest crop of female comics in the world. 

In 1995, she opened for Chris Rock and later joined his critically acclaimed HBO series, The Chris Rock Show as a writer and performer. Nominated for three Primetime Emmy awards, she won one for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Special in 1999.

At 40, Wanda came out as gay to her parents and has been an ardent supporter of the LGBTQ+ community ever since. In 2010, she was honoured with a GLAAD award for promoting equal rights for gay and lesbians.

On her 57th birthday, here are quotes by Wanda on life, love, and happiness as a choice. 

On facing challenges

“I’m here today because I refused to be unhappy. I took a chance.”

“When life gives you lemons don’t make lemonade, make pink lemonade. Be unique.”

“Because if you don’t have that confidence in who you are then, things don’t go the way you wish that they will. If people aren’t accepting then they can easily tear you down if you’re not prepared and comfortable with who you are.”

“I work hard. The staff and crew see how much energy I put into this project, and it makes them step up.”

“Usually, there’s nothing being thrown toward the stage or at me. Then I feel pretty good about it.”

“I don’t understand why people really get upset about something that doesn’t affect them at all."

“What drives the creative person is that we see it all.”

“I guess because of my act, people think that I say things they want to say, and that they can just come up and say anything to me.”

"My comedy is in your face, and it comes from a place that’s real.”

On being a woman 

“And then also I think it’s harder for women because comedy is so opposite of being ladylike.”

“You can’t make a woman happy. That’s like trying to cure a fatal disease. The goal is to treat the symptoms so you can comfortably live with the illness.”

“A woman would pitch a joke. Nothing. Then a guy would pitch it and everybody would laugh.”

“I’m proud to be a woman. I’m proud to be a black woman, and I’m proud to be gay.”

On love and marriage 

“As soon as you say ‘I do,’ you’ll discover that marriage is like a car. Both of you might be sitting in the front seat, but only one of you is driving. And most marriages are more like a motorcycle than a car. Somebody has to sit in the back, and you have to yell just to be heard.”

“When my wife and I leave California, I want to have my marriage recognized in Nevada, Arizona, all the way to New York. How can you stop people from loving each other? How can you get upset about loving?”

Wanda being her witty self

“If something stinks, I say it stinks. But I try to massage it a little and not be as cutting, come behind it with a joke: Hey, I cut you deep, but now let me put a couple of stitches in you.”

“It’s easier to rip somebody to shreds while you’re making them laugh. Mostly everything gets worse before it gets better.”

“I knew something was wrong with the economy when the shampoo girl at my salon closed on a six-bedroom house.”

“My neighbour, she invited me to an Elvis party. I told her I couldn’t come ’cause I’d be too busy making fun of her from behind my blinds.”

“It wasn’t until I became more confident with myself and I put myself forward instead of the jokes; at first it was put the jokes out there and I’m just behind the jokes.”

“I don’t like the saying keep your friends close and enemies closer. I want my enemy on a different planet.”