Marlon and Shawn Wayans, members of the collectively talented and funny Wayans family, stopped by The Wall Street Journal to discuss their latest project, their key to success, and using the N-word in their material.
Along with their older brothers, Keenan Ivory Wayans and Damon Wayans, the four are embarking on their first stand-up tour together as one act. Keenan and Damon are the creators of the groundbreaking sketch comedy show, In Living Color, which launched the careers of Jim Carey, Jamie Foxx, Rosie Perez, Jennifer Lopez, and more.
Check out excerpts of the hilarious interview below.
On how stand-up has enhanced their career so far:
Marlon: I’ve gotten better as a performer, writer, and communicator. I’ve gotten better in so many facets of my business and of my world. Stand-up is the quintessential art form. You are the writer, producer, [and] star, every night. Your focus is on the writing, and then straight from the writing you have to perform instantly. There is no failure because that crowd is right there to tell you whether you’re funny or you’re not.
Shawn: You’re in there with the lions when you’re doing stand-up. I don’t care how big you are or ever become as an entertainer. If you ain’t doing stand-up and you’re on stage for the first time in a long time, the audience is going to be very honest with you so you’ll know if you’re funny or not.
The key to getting Hollywood to green light projects:
Shawn: The key is, it has to be really good.
Marlon: And you have to have an audience.
Shawn: You have to be really, really good.
Marlon: You do what your audience likes and you have to service them.
Shawn: That’s true, but it has to be really good.
On their writing process:
Marlon: I sleep, he writes.
Shawn: And then he wakes up with something funny.
On Dave Chapelle’s comments about black, male comedians dressing up as women: