Bill Scheft Hails Wanda Sykes as Great Choice for WHCD Entertainment
If the elite gathering of A-list journos, politicos and celebrities that make up the White House Correspondents’ Dinner
can’t loosen up when Sykes starts her monologue, it’s likely to get what it deserves, says Scheft, a veteran scribe for “The Late Show with David Letterman.”
“If they take Wanda too seriously, she’s going to let ’em have it,” Scheft tells WHCInsider. “I’ve know Wanda a long time. She’ll really give it to ’em, and I think that’s what they need — somebody to yell at ’em.”
Scheft says that Sykes was a great choice to book for the entertainment, noting that Stephen Colbert — who raised as many hackles as he did laughs with his controversial routine at the 2006 dinner — is altogether different. “Colbert was a character playing a character playing a character at that dinner. He’s very character-oriented. Wanda is much more joke-oriented.”
Scheft, author of the novel “Everything Hurts,” thought Colbert was “note perfect” precisely because “he went too far.” Sykes isn’t likely to do that, he adds, as long as people are relaxing and laughing.
One of Scheft’s favorite Wanda-isms: She once described Jennifer Lopez’s body as being like the singing group The Commodores, “except her butt. Her butt is Lionel Richie.”
Scheft and several of his fellow comedy writers will be in D.C. this Friday, the eve of the Big Event. They will appear at the Newseum headlining a program sponsored by the Writers Guild of America East and called, “Writers Speak! A Potentially Regrettable Evening with Comedy Writers.” Stand-up routines will kick things off, followed by a panel discussion, all on the topic of how more and more television viewers seem to be turning to comedy shows to get their news.
The guild specifically picked the Friday before the WHCD because, as Scheft notes, a number of the writers will visit Capitol Hill to talk to legislators, “and we figured they’d all be in town this weekend.”