The comedic siblings Shawn and Marlon Wayans have gigged on stages around the globe, but Friday's show at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino will be their first time performing in Delaware.
The comedic siblings Shawn and Marlon Wayans have gigged on stages around the globe, but Friday’s show at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino will be their first time performing in Delaware.
Shawn and Marlon, who come from a famously talented family, have had accomplished careers in the two-plus decades they’ve spent in the comedy biz. The brothers’ resume includes starring in and co-writing the hit films “Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Juice in the Hood,” “Scary Movie,” “Scary Movie 2,” “White Chicks” and “Dance Flick.”
Shawn recently spoke with the Sussex Countian about the comedians who make him laugh, how doing standup makes him funnier and more.
Q How excited are you to make your Delaware debut?
A I’m pretty excited. I’m always excited to go some place where I haven’t been to make somebody laugh. I’m always up for a new challenge.
Q You and Marlon are going to be the first comedians to perform at Dover Downs since Tracy Morgan’s car crash in June.
A Wow. I’ll be sure not to take the same route home.
Q What was your reaction when you heard about his crash?
A I was very sad. I worked with Tracy. He was in one of my movies and he’s really funny. I wish him the best and I hope he’s healing now. I can relate because I can see how that can happen. It’s scary, the environment we’re in. People aren’t [always] paying attention to the road.
Q For this comedy tour, can you explain how you and Marlon share the stage? Do you perform at the same time?
A No. We go on separate. And usually we have an opener, Wil Sylvince, and he does like 15 [minutes] upfront. Then Marlon goes on after him. Then I go on after Marlon. We have two different points of view on the world, so it’s a really cool standup show.
Q Does doing standup make you a better writer?
A I believe so. It sharpens your point of view. It gives you confidence, because you know the stuff you’re talking about is funny, because you’re up on stage every night dealing with the audience, so it makes you crafty and in touch with the audience. It really gives you a built-in audience in your head, so when you’re writing you can kind of feel out what the audience might think about a certain thing you’re writing.
Q Who makes you laugh?
A I’ll watch “The Honeymooners” and that’ll make me laugh, or “The Munsters.” I like the old school, classic comedies. But I also can appreciate what’s funny today. I just watched the Golden Globe Awards and Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were funny. Of course, Chris Rock, Kevin Hart and Dave Chappelle, all those guys are really funny. Louis C.K., Bill Burr – there’s a lot of people I love. David Alan Grier makes me laugh really hard [laughs].
Q Having started out in comedy at such a young age, what major changes have you noticed in the business throughout your career?
A There hasn’t been a real major change in the way comedy is really done, other than it being on the Internet now. Some of the topics are touched before you can actually touch it. So if you’re a topical comedian and [a topic] isn’t really that fresh anymore ... [a joke] might not have your punchline, but there’s 300 renditions of the same kind of joke, so you have to kind of step things up a little. I think the environment we’re in today, people are more sensitive. It’s not that a lot of things are less funny. It’s just that less people are going to give you the laugh that you probably would’ve gotten 15 years ago.
Q Several of the films you and your brother have written are parodies. What is it about parodies that really grabs you guys?
A We’ve done a couple things that aren’t parodies. We just go for what we feel is funny at that time. There’s not really a specific thing about parodies that we gravitate toward. It just depends on how we’re feeling. One cool thing about parodies is you get to say a lot through your comedy, kind of like you’re reporting.
Q You haven’t recently done a lot of acting in films that you haven’t also been involved with behind the scenes. Why is that?
A I like working the way I work. There isn’t any real reason for it. I haven’t had anything come to me that kind of sparked my interest for me to actually go and do that, so far.
Q You’ve already accomplished a lot in career. What’s still on your bucket list?
A I don’t really have a bucket list. I just go with the flow. My bucket list is to continue what I enjoy doing, which is comedy, live a great life and take care of my family and stay out of trouble.
IF YOU GO
WHAT Marlon and Shawn Wayans comedy show
WHEN 9 p.m., Friday
WHERE Dover Downs Hotel & Casino’s Rollins Center, 1131 N. Dupont Highway, Dover
COST $35 to $65
INFO Visit doverdowns.com or call (800) 711-5882