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Fame & Fortune: Wanda Sykes

Bankrate: Is "The Wanda Sykes Show" designed for an older demographic?

Wanda Sykes: Whoever's in that 18 to 49 demo. Maybe we'll be closer to the 49 end, but we're not doing a show for older people.

Bankrate: You did one episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" this year, and you're continuing with "The New Adventures of Old Christine." Compare working on Old Christine, which is tightly scripted, with Curb, where there's lots of room for improv.

Wanda Sykes: I started as a stand-up, so I think I'm pretty adaptable. Curb is more stressful because it is improv. On Old Christine, we have great writers, so it's all there for you. I enjoy that, too.

Bankrate: You were a writer and performer for years on "The Chris Rock Show" on HBO. How important was that show as a comic incubator?

Wanda Sykes: I give complete credit to Chris and "The Chris Rock Show." Even for the show I'm doing, my Fox show, I use "The Chris Rock Show" as a model for how I want things done.

Bankrate: Right before the Emmy's, Neil Patrick Harris was on the cover of New York Magazine, and the headline referenced how weird it was that a gay actor was becoming a mainstream star. As a mainstream star who recently came out, is this even a factor in an actor's career anymore?

Wanda Sykes: I don't think it is. It all comes down to how comfortable you are. If you're comfortable with yourself, then you'll make other people comfortable. If you feel all weird about it, then people feel like you've misled them. That's when I think it's a problem.

Bankrate: With everything going on in the economy, has that affected the nature of your stand-up?

Wanda Sykes: I'm much more appreciative, when I do live shows, that the audience is there, and I thank them for that. I know the economy is bad. People are losing jobs and homes, and there are not a lot of people with discretionary income. So if you come out and spend good money to see me, I'm grateful, and I wanna make sure I really give them a good show.

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