Wanda Sykes tells Trump jokes at Count Basie, fans walk out
RED BANK — Things turned ugly during Wanda Sykes' show at the Count Basie Center for the Arts when fans walked out over her anti-Donald Trump jokes.
Sykes began her set at the Count Basie Center for the Arts on Thursday in Red Bank by making fun of how the public appears to be aging more quickly from stress during Trump's administration. The Asbury Park Press reported some attendees began heckling Sykes, complaining that she was being political.
The newspaper said some fans began arguing in the lobby about the merits of her performance and whether or not it was too political.
"Some audience members objected to the performer’s content, and left," Count Basie spokesman Jon Vena said in an email.
Sykes has made no secret of her dislike of the current president in past performances.
"I am certain this is not the first time we’ve elected a racist, sexist, homophobic president. He ain’t the first one. He’s just the first confirmed one.” Sykes said during a performance in Boston in 2016 that also drew boos, according to CBS News.
Count Basie supporter Jeremy Grunin was at the show and was not surprised at her routine.
"She delivered exactly what you thought she was going to deliver. She delivered her political point of view, some audience members objected, yelled and left," he said.
Grunin said no one was escorted out of the theater against their will.
"It is the Basie's policy that if someone is disruptive or disrupting other audience members then they would be asked to leave. But that was not the case on Thursday night to my knowledge. People left of their own volition," Grunin said.
Grunin is also the host of WOBM's call-in program Topic A.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report