Youtube/Late Night with Seth Meyers
Youtube/Late Night with Seth Meyers

Why Wanda Sykes Ignored Michelle Obama at 2009 White House Correspondents’ Dinner

Manuela Cardiga
May 24, 2019
05:52 A.M.

Wanda Sykes opened up about why she ignored the then First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.


Fans of the sassy and apparently unflappable Wanda Sykes might be surprised to discover that she was once so nervous that she snubbed the First Lady.

Sykes opened up about her faux pas during her appearance at the 2009 White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

"I was sitting pretty much right next to Michelle Obama. She kept trying to make conversation, but I was so focused on having to go up and perform that I was blowing her off." Wanda Sykes



Sykes was invited to perform at President Obama's first Correspondent's Dinner, and she was understandably nervous.

It was a landmark event - an African American comedian performing at the White House for the United States' first African American president.



Sykes confessed that she was extremely nervous, and was trying to consult her notes while the woman sitting next to her kept trying to make conversation. The woman was the First Lady, Michelle Obama.


Wanda Sykes married French national Alex Niedbalski in 2008, and the couple shares 10-year-old twins, Olivia and Lucas.


As nervous as Sykes might have been, she was brilliant and blew her audience away with her irreverent humor and acerbic wit. Both the President and the First Lady were in stitches, and she had her audience eating out of the palm of her hand.


Sykes' unconventional humor is rooted in her decidedly unconventional life.

The 55-year-old comedian is a middle-aged black lesbian, married to a French woman and the mother of two white children.

“There is nothing creepier than waking up and seeing two little white kids standing at the foot of your bed.” Sykes quipped.


Race became an issue for Sykes when the star of the "Roseanne" reboot she had produced went off the rails on Twitter and posted racially offensive comments.

Sykes was one of the first people to drop the show, which was eventually canceled by ABC network, and resulted in the downfall of fellow comedian Roseanne Barr.

“What is this?” I looked at the Valerie Jarrett tweet, and I was like, Aw, jeez, I can’t condone this." she said.


Wanda Sykes married French national Alex Niedbalski in 2008, and the couple shares 10-year-old twins, Olivia and Lucas.

The biggest challenge for Sykes as a mother is that her wife and children are bilingual - and she is not.

On "Late Night with Seth Myers" she revealed that her family often gives her the runaround by speaking in French when they are planning to drag her along on outings she won't enjoy.

These, Sykes confessed, are invariably outdoors activities which she hates, but her wife and children love.

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