Two of the 10 Wayans siblings — Marlon and Shawn — bring their stand-up to Borgata Feb. 9. Soon they’ll take their tag-team comedy show around the globe.
Over the past two years brothers Shawn and Marlon Wayans have taken their comedy show on the road, performing stand-up together all over the country — and soon the globe, as the pair heads to Australia in May and other countries following that.
Some may know the Wayans Brothers from their eponymous TV sitcom, which aired from 1995-’99, and was the first TV series to debut on the WB network. Others may recall seeing the young brothers on the hilarious sketch-comedy TV show In Living Color, which aired on FOX from 1990-’94 and starred older Wayans brothers Keenan and Damon, in addition to future superstars Jim Carey, Tommy Davidson, Jamie Foxx, Rosie Perez and David Alan Grier.
Since The Wayans Brothers went off the air — it still runs in syndication — the brothers have branched out into Hollywood, writing and starring in goofy yet hysterical movies such as White Chicks, Scary Movie (parts one and two) and the 1996 spoof Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood.
While older brother Shawn, 42, has been taking it easy of late, “writing a new movie” and spending time with his own family in Los Angeles where he currently resides, Marlon, 40, also a California resident now — the Wayans were born and raised in New York — has a new film out, A Haunted House. The youngest of 10 siblings, Marlon says the new movie, which he helped write and produce and stars in, is not a parody in the sense that the Scary Movie pictures are, but more of a horror comedy poking fun at the “found footage” genre of filmmaking and the modern fascination with ghosts and paranormal activity.
Shawn and Marlon, who will bring their stand-up comedy show to Atlantic City Feb. 9 at the intimate Borgata Music Box, spoke to AC Weekly the day after President Obama’s Inauguration for a second term.
Shawn dialed in from California, while Marlon spoke from his hotel room in Washington D.C. where he attended the Jan. 21 Inauguration. (He was a little late for this interview and jumps on the call several minutes after Shawn.)
Are you on stage together when you do these duo stand-up shows?
Shawn: No, we don’t go on stage together. It’s a tag team. One guy goes on and he does his set. Then the next guy comes after him and does his set.
So there’s no time when you’ll be together for the show?
S: We go pick our check up at the same time.
Any memorable experiences from your days on In Living Color?
S: The whole thing was a memorable experience. That was me and Marlon’s comedy college of everything we know. All the stuff we do today we learned from In Living Color. [It] taught us how to perform comedy. It taught us how to write. It taught us discipline. It taught us work ethics, and how serious the game of comedy really is. I think it was a wonderful experience and lots of fun. [We] laughed all day long.
Do you still keep in touch with the non-family members from that show?
S: I still talk to Tommy Davidson every now and then. When I see Jim Carey we always talk and have a good time — same for Jamie Foxx and David [Alan Grier]. And anybody else you saw on the show. It’s like If you went to school with somebody and you see one of your old classmates.
What were your favorite TV shows growing up?
S: I loved The Honeymooners and I Love Lucy and I used to watch Good Times, and The Jeffersons and Archie Bunker [All in the Family]. I used to also watch a lot of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Abbott and Costello, they were great. All the great classic shows that were on back then Marlon and me kind of grew up on. We studied that when we were little.
There are so many talented and funny members of your immediate family. Did you have a lot of humor in your household? At the dinner table, for instance, was it a laugh riot most of the time?
S: Yeah, it was very funny. There were lots of laughs. We were always laughing. Despite our economic situation we found humor in it.
Hello Marlon, where are you calling from?
Marlon: I’m in D.C. Just went to the Inauguration. It was a good experience to be there and hear the speech live and feel the energy. It was beautiful to see all the people come out and rally behind the president. I wish we did that kind of thing everyday. I think we would get a lot more done.
S: Did you look at Beyoncé’s butt while she was singing the National Anthem?
M: I tried so hard but I couldn’t. I didn’t get a good view. I was so mad.
S: You should have [taken] Bill Clinton’s seat; he got a good look at her ass.
Marlon, you’ve been promoting your new film —
M: Yeah, lately, I have been waking up very early [to promote] my movie. So I have been on the road for two months literally getting up at five o’clock in the morning everyday.
I’ve been reading about how 'A Haunted House' is unlike the 'Scary' movies. How is it different — aside from being a different movie?
M: I think it’s different because it’s not a parody. It’s just a movie itself. All these people keep thinking it’s a parody; its not. It’s a romantic horror comedy with parody moments. It’s got some parody moments in it, but it’s really just familiar moments that we kind of flipped, but it’s not a parody. If you never saw a paranormal film this will [still] be enjoyable. It’s not a movie that you need a reference for you to enjoy it.
Shawn and I were talking about you guys growing up. If it was a humorous household and if there was a lot of laughter around the dinner table. He said that it was a funny experience, do you remember the same?
M: Oh, absolutely. There was a bunch of laughing. We laughed our whole childhood. That’s why we laugh till this day because we just love laughter.
Marlon how long have you been doing stand-up comedy?
M: Probably like [almost] three years now.