By Romeo San Vicente
Wanda Sykes is Fox’s Ms. Saturday Night
Romeo already thought that Wanda Sykes was one of the funniest people on the planet, but when she spoke openly and proudly about her long-term lesbian relationship at a marriage rally last year, she climbed even higher in the Pantheon of Awesomeness. So it’s very exciting to hear that the outspoken Sykes will host a topical talk-show on Saturday nights on the Fox network starting this fall. She’ll be getting “Mad TV”‘s old slot for a show that will see Sykes getting into it with a recurring cast of panelists discussing politics and pop culture; Sykes will also pop up in field segments. Her last encounter with the network was with the short-lived sitcom “Wanda at Large,” but this format seems more in line with her bluntly outrageous brand of comedy. Wonder if she’ll spar with Fox fixture Bill O’ Reilly?
Fantasia gets real for VH1
If you’re a fan of Lifetime movies, you know that “Life Is Not a Fairy Tale: The Fantasia Barrino Story,” based on the “American Idol” champ’s memoir and starring the lady herself, made for compelling television. And her “Cribs” appearance made panther sculptures sitting on dining room tables seem like just the right design touch. Imagine how much more exciting it will be to see Fantasia’s life on a weekly reality series. Produced by World of Wonder, the gay-run production company that gave us the deliciousness that was “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” the new show will chronicle Fantasia’s life as a single mother and as a successful recording artist. (She’s also an acclaimed Broadway performer, as anyone who was lucky enough to catch her in “The Color Purple” can attest.) The show airs on VH1 in 2010, which is frankly too long to wait. In the meantime there’s always that “Lady Marmalade” performance on YouTube to watch over and over. And over.
Lucas and Fry go to ‘Wonderland’ for Burton
If you’re a fan of Matt Lucas, the hilarious star of “Little Britain” and “Kroed Maendoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire,” get ready for a double dose of the queer actor in Tim Burton’s upcoming all-star adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland.” Lucas will be strapping on two egg-shaped fat suits to play both Tweedledum and Tweedledee in this new (and umpteenth) screen version of the Lewis Carroll classic. He won’t be the only gay in the village, however, with Stephen Fry taking on the role of the enigmatic Cheshire Cat. Both actors will be in sterling company: Burton’s ensemble includes Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Michael Sheen, Helena Bonham Carter (of course – being Mrs. Burton has its advantages), Alan Rickman, Crispin Glover and Christopher Lee. Get your “Eat Me” cookies to the theater in 2010 when “Alice” hits the scene.
Nick Swardson is ‘Born to Be a Star’
You may not know Nick Swardson’s name, but you probably love his many gay roles. He stole every scene that wasn’t nailed down in “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry,” and his recurring role as roller-skating manwhore Terry on “Reno 911!” is consistently gut-busting. Long a member of the Adam Sandler repertory – Swardson voiced the title role in Sandler’s legendary pilot for the never-produced sitcom “Gay Robot” – this bit player finally gets the spotlight in “Born to Be a Star.” Swardson stars as a Midwesterner who discovers that his straight-laced parents are actually ex-porn stars, so he decides to go to L.A. and follow in their footsteps. The cast includes Christina Ricci and, as a screen-stud-turned-family-man, Edward Herrmann. Here’s hoping “Star” (co-written by Sandler) lives up to its premise when it opens next year.
Romeo San Vicente is Facebook friends with more gay porn stars than he can count. He can be reached care of this publication or at [email protected]