Way Out with the Wayans

Shawn and Marlon Wayans to tickle Dayton’s Funny Bone

By Jason Webber

Fame and fortune are seldom glamorous—just ask poor Marlon Wayans. After a week of email and a brief flurry of phone tag with his publicist and manager, we finally got Marlon Wayans on the phone from his hotel room in Florida, where he had just done a standup show with his kid brother and comedy foil, Shawn. The only problem is, the duo had barely gotten any sleep due to scheduling crunches, flights, and other mundane details that add up to a big pain in the ass when you’re a working comedian. The original plan was to get both brothers on the phone, but Shawn couldn’t be rousted out of bed. However, a very sleepy-voiced Marlon graciously granted the prescheduled interview and showed up with his humor intact. These two members from black comedy’s most beloved family will presumably be wide awake when they take to the stage of the Dayton Funny Bone from July 12 – 15. We spoke to Marlon for a few minutes about showing Britney Spears his butt and whether or not Paris Hilton wants to kick said derriere after being lampooned in “White Chicks.”

Dayton City Paper: You guys are pretty busy these days—about how many months out of the year do you guys spend doing standup?

Marlon Wayans: Lately, it’s been a lot. It’s fun to perform and it’s going really well. It’s always in progression. [2nd half of pullout quote]

Dayton City Paper: How much of your standup act is improvised and how much of it is written material?

Marlon Wayans: I’d say about 70 percent of it [our standup] is prewritten material and the other 30 percent is improvised. [1st half of pullout quote]

Dayton City Paper: You guys hosted the MTV Video Music Awards 12 years ago and I remember one of you—I can’t remember if it was you or Shawn—showed his butt to the camera. Did you get in trouble for that?

Marlon Wayons: Yeah, that was me. Nah, nothing happened. Twelve years later and I’d still do it. I had to show it to the ladies.

Dayton City Paper: The expression on Britney Spears’ face when you did that was priceless.

Marlon Wayans: Oh yeah. She had that look on her face like, “I just saw a naked black man! What the hell?”

Dayton City Paper: I know Keenan (Ivory Wayans) is producing a new version of “In Living Color,” which will be coming out this fall. Are you guys involved in that at all?

Marlon Wayans: No, that’s Keenan’s baby. Shawn and I are around to give feedback and support, but that’s all Keenan.

Dayton City Paper: So is it true you’re playing Richard Pryor in a biopic?

Marlon Wayans: That’s the plan. That is, if they ever get the financing together. If they can get the movie made, we’ll see what happens. But in the meantime, I’m doing standup and I’m preparing.

Dayton City Paper: You were amazing in “Requiem for a Dream.” What was it like working with Darren Aronofsky?

Marlon Wayans: Darren is a pro and he’s really a genius, so getting the chance to be a mannequin in his world was a lot of fun. When you’re working with him, it’s easy to put in a good performance.

Dayton City Paper: Is it true that he made you, Jared Leto, and Jennifer Connelly abstain from sex and sugar for a month so you would know what it felt like to be an addict?

Marlon Wayans: That’s very true. He called it the Month of Wrath. It was insane.

Dayton City Paper: When you could finally eat sugar again, do you recall the first thing you ate?

Marlon Wayans: No, I just remembered how good it felt to taste something sweet again.

Dayton City Paper: Final question—Did Paris Hilton say anything to you guys after “White Chicks” came out?

Marlon Wayans: Yeah, she threatened to beat the shit out of me with a Louis Vuitton purse. But for some reason, I’m not afraid of Paris Hilton.

Shawn and Marlon Wayans perform at the Dayton Funny Bone from Thursday, July 12 – Sunday, July 15. $40. Call or check website for times and more information. 937-429-5233/www.daytonfunnybone.com

Reach DCP freelance writer Jason Webber at JasonWebber@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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