Whether you know her from her standup comedy, her many films, or her celebrated role on Curb Your Enthusiasm, chances are Wanda Sykes and her iconic voice have made you laugh. But while the 57-year-old comedian is pretty outspoken when she’s onstage, she’s much more reserved when it comes to her personal life. In fact, many fans may not even realize that Wanda Sykes has a wife and kids! Here’s an inside look at her children and her wife, Alex Sykes.
Wanda And Alex Sykes Married In 2008
Born on March 7, 1964, in Portsmouth, Virginia, Wanda Sykes worked as a contracting specialist for the National Security Agency (NSA) before pursuing a career in entertainment. In the early 1990s, she moved to New York City to launch her standup career, appearing in local clubs and getting to know fellow up-and-coming comedians like D. L. Hughley, Bernie Mac, and Bill Bellamy.
From 1991 until 1998, Sykes was married to record producer David Hill. Unfortunately, the union was not a happy one, which is why much of Sykes’s standup material from that time cast a negative light on relationships. “It just speaks to being in a bad relationship with my husband,” she told The New York Times Magazine in 2019. “I was being honest. I wanted to get away. Like: ‘God, there’s his stupid face, and he’s chewing. Ugh, does he have to breathe? Make him stop breathing.’ Now I’m in a great relationship, and I’m happy, so my wife’s chewing doesn’t annoy me.”
Sykes met her future wife Alex Niedbalski in 2006 while on a ferry ride to New York’s Fire Island. According to the Crank Yankers star, it was love at first sight. “Something really said to me – like, audibly – ‘Wow, that’s what you need, Wanda,’” Sykes said in 2018, speaking of the first time she saw Alex.
The couple married in 2008 and soon after, Sykes came out publicly as a lesbian. She did it at a rally against the passage of Proposition 8, which was an amendment intended to ban same-sex marriage in the state of California. “When I came out, it wasn’t a planned thing at all,” she said in 2013 documentary. “It was a national day of protest against the passage of Prop 8. I said, ‘Okay where’s the rally, we are going to go to the rally.’ And I did. And in my speech I said that I got married and I’m pissed.”
Sykes had already come out to her family and friends, so she was surprised when her impromptu announcement immediately made headlines. “I get to the hotel and I turn on the TV and on the CNN scroll it’s, ‘comedian Wanda Sykes, ‘I’m proud to be gay,'” and I was like, Oh, this is a big [expletive] deal. I’m a black woman, a celebrity, and I’m out.’ No regrets.”
Who Is Alex Sykes?
A native of France, Alex Niedbalski (now Alex Sykes) was born in 1974. She’s the graduate of a prestigious business school in Paris and has had a very successful career as a businesswoman. Currently, she serves as the senior vice president of sales for a Canadian kitchen countertop company.
While she’s not in the entertainment industry like her wife, Alex is 100 percent supportive of Wanda’s career. In fact, the Black-ish star says her wife often attends her comedy shows, and that she uses this to her advantage when the couple disagrees about something. “Sometimes, if I know she’s in the audience, I will deliberately bring up something we had been discussing just to test it on the audience,” she told the Windsor Star in 2015. “If they agree with me, I’ll tease her about it afterwards.”
Alex also shares a great sense of humor with her wife and occasionally posts fun videos of the pair dancing on Instagram.
Wanda And Alex Sykes Have Two Kids
The couple has two children together, 12-year-old fraternal twins Olivia and Lucas. They were born in April of 2009, and Wanda has joked about the difficulties of raising two babies at the same time. “I was like oh my God what did we do?” she told Vulture in 2016. “At one time I was contemplating taking one back. I was like, can we return one? I mean really, oh my gosh. I was thinking we can’t do this, we’re going to have to take one back.”
Wanda also says that being a mom has had a big effect on her standup material. “It’s changed drastically. I would just say that the topics have changed. Before, I would just talk about what’s going on in my life,” she admitted in 2017. “Here’s a snapshot of what’s happening to me or around the world, and since the kids it’s still the same technique as far as I’m talking about what’s happening, but a lot of it is about the kids and the family, because they just take over everything, you know?”