Marlon Wayans will perform at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center on Sunday, July 22nd.
World-famous for the TV shows In Living Color, The Wayans Bros, and Marlon, as well as his roles in Scary Movie, Scary Movie 2, White Chicks, Haunted House, this American actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer is bringing a huge night of comedy.
MauiTime had a chance to do a Q&A with Marlon last week! Check out what Marlon thinks about his upcoming trip to Maui, his favorite comedians, what it’s like to work with family, his favorite “Fly Girls,” and friendship with Tupac.
MauiTime Weekly: The last time you played at the MACC was in 2011 with your brother Shawn. What was your favorite thing about that trip?
Marlon Wayans: I think that trip was so great for me because I didn’t know we had an audience in Hawai‘i. I didn’t know how big it was. That was in the middle of us still building, and when all the people came out, I was like, “Oh, damn.” I didn’t know we had love in Hawai‘i, ‘cause you know, Hawai‘i is still America but it’s kind of off coast. And then I realized, there’s a lot of people that smoke weed in Hawai‘i, and we do a lot of movies that appeal to the weed smokers, so therefore, I should’ve thought that out of anywhere, that’s where I’m going to have the biggest audience. And the straight up people, they’re so cool and chill and you know they give you those two fingers – not the middle finger, you know I’m from NY – the hang loose two fingers. I like the vibe and the people, they walk around with smiles. Hawai‘i can kick some ass – they all do some kinda MMA.
MTW: Is there anything you’re looking forward to while you’re here on island?
MW: I like to visit Hawai‘i when I can. It’s a very peaceful, Zen kind of place. It’s like the closest place in America to what God made. It’s just beautiful. It’s the only place I’ll go hiking. I don’t like walking, but Hawai‘i’s so pretty, so why not. I go golfing. I don’t ever go golfing in my life, but when I’m in Hawai‘i, I’m like “Damn…” I can just hit this ball for like five hours and just look at how beautiful this place is.
MTW: What’s your favorite cocktail?
MW: I like tequila straight up with ice. I usually like a good tequila like Jose Cuervo Reserve or 1942.
MTW: What can Maui look forward to for your show? Will the content be all ages?
MW: I don’t think I’m a PG stand-up. I’m more PG-13. I like to curse sometimes, it’s not crazy sexual, but I don’t know where I’m gonna go. So, I would say 18+ unless you have really cool parents… ‘cause you know in Hawai‘i parents be hittin’ the blunt early.
MTW: Do your close friends have a nickname for you?
MW: Sometimes they call me Hyman Roth. They call me Hyman, and here’s why. In The Godfather, Hyman Roth always took care of his friends and he always made sure that his friends got rich, too.
MTW: Do you have a favorite comedian from Hawai‘i?
MW: No, but I’m going to say Richard Pryor because he spent so much time in Hawai‘i.
MTW: Who are your all time favorite stand-up comedians?
MW: Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, my big brother Damon, Shawn and Keenan, George Carlin, Dave Chappelle, Jim Jefferies, Erik Griffin, and Sydney Castillo.
MTW: Nike or Adidas?
MTW: I’ve read that you have 10 siblings. How did you all get involved in acting and comedy?
MW: If you ask me which sibling I like better, you’re trying to get me killed. Growing up, we were all comedians. Like in school, we were all class clowns. We all went to the same school, and I remember that in every class we had, all the teachers would be like, “Oh, no, another Wayan,” and they’d give me detention based on what they thought I would be doing. Keenan was the first one that was like, “We’re going to get into comedy.” And, we all followed.
MTW: You attended Howard University in Washington, DC. Did you always want to do acting and comedy?
MW: Yes, I did. I knew since the first grade that I wanted to be a comedic actor. There was nothing else for me. I love acting and it’s something I always thought I was going to do. I was thinking something like an I Love Lucy show. I always wanted to star in movies like Eddie Murphy and Jim Carrey. I just knew at a young age what I wanted. I went to Howard for acting and filming. This was at the time that In Living Color was on TV Sunday night; we’d shut down everything and watch In Living Color. Everybody would be like, “Yo, your family is stupid.” Which is a compliment in the black community.
MTW: What is it like to tour and work with family?
MW: I love working with them all. They’re all so different. Me and Shawn just have a magnetic chemistry – I think because we’re only a year apart. We have the same point of reference with life but different. I love working with Shawn, but I really like working with all of my family. We laugh a lot. On the stage and off.
MTW: Do you manage your own Instagram account?
MW: Absolutely, I manage my own account.
MTW: Your brother Keenan created In Living Color (1990-1994). You appeared on the show from 1992-1993. What is one of your favorite memories from being on that show?
MW: Just the entire experience. It was like comedy college for me. Just watching Damon, Jim Carrey, Keenan and all these guys working their behinds off. I was only in the industry for maybe a year. Me and Shawn were like the rookies on the set. We learned to write, and we’d stay up ‘til five in the morning writing sketches. For the most part, every sketch that me and Shawn were in – we had to write them. That really trained us and taught us how to write.
MTW: Did you have a crush on any of Fly Girls? Who was your favorite?
MW: All of them. Pick one, name one, I love them all. Lisa, J. LO, and Carrie Ann. The only reason why I didn’t like Deidre is because she was dating my friend.
MTW: Jennifer Lopez then, or J. LO now?
MW: There’s a difference – I like them both. One is a natural young beauty with a big ol’ butt. Back then, it was special for me. I never seen anything like that. As a black brotha, we love that. J. LO now – she’s still got the butt, but she has that money butt that’s been worked out, so it got a little more shape. I liked it when it was more like “Black-oww,” like an ass explosion.
MTW: After In Living Color, you went on to work on the sitcom The Wayans Bros with your brother Shawn. Do you feel like that was the project that really launched your own career?
MW: Yes, definitely. That and the movies. When we did Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood and Scary Movie, it all kind of started to come together.
MTW: Jim Carrey: one word.
MW: Brilliant. Or actually, Hilarious.
MTW: Brilliant or hilarious?
MW: Brillarious. How ‘bout that.
MTW: What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you on set?
MW: Hmm… I don’t really get embarrassed. I’m a comedian; everything embarrassing that happens to me I put in a movie. I remember I humped a stuffed animal. I did a menage with a stuffed animal in Haunted House 1, and then I banged a doll in Haunted House 2. That was really improv. Me getting butt naked and going there with a doll and stuffed animal, it’s just, I have no vanity when it comes to comedy – I go for it.
MTW: What’s your favorite NFL team?
MTW: Fifty Shades of Black (2016). You co-wrote, co-produced and starred in this film. I’ve read that the film grossed over $22 million in the box office and was created from a $5 million budget. Did you always know that it would be so successful?
MW: I actually thought it was going to be way more successful than that. In movie terms, there’s a single and a double. Haunted House 1 was a home run because we made that movie for $1 million and grossed $50-something million worldwide. Fifty Shades of Black, I thought because of what we were making fun of that it would have done better. I just love making movies, and as long as you’re successful enough to make another movie, then you’re good.
MTW: Did you read the Fifty Shades of Grey books?
MW: Yes, I did.
MTW: Do you think more men should read the books?
MW: Um, no. But, if they do, they’ll learn more about what’s romantic and sexy to women. What a woman thinks is sexy is different than what a guy thinks is sexy. Women think dressing up in a sexy costume is sexy. A man’s like, “That’s cute. I can almost see a tittie. Can you take that off?”
MTW: I’ve read that you were close friends with Tupac. How did you guys first meet?
MW: Yes, I was great friends with Pac. I met him on the set of Juice. He was working with one of my best friends, Omar Epps. Me, Pac and Omar, all three of us were in performing arts as kids. So where everyone else saw the thug rapper Tupac, I always saw the fun, loving, artist Tupac.
MTW: Of all the films that you’ve starred in, which one are you most proud of?
MW: I’d say White Chicks. We did the impossible. We did a movie with two black guys playing two white girls. We were acting like it was summertime in the Hamptons, even though we filmed it in the winter in Canada. The fact that we pulled that movie off, it’s so hard to do. We slept three hours the whole time.
MTW: What was your favorite scene in White Chicks?
MW: The dance battle and the bodega sketches. And, the date scene at the restaurant.
MTW: How long did it take to get into makeup as a “White Chick”?
MW: 7 hours everyday.
MTW: There are some internet rumors that White Chicks 2 is coming out soon.
MW: No, it’s actually not coming out. I wish it was. That’s one movie we need a sequel to.
MTW: Of all the people that you’ve worked with, is there any particular person that you’d consider a mentor?
MW: Everyone is a mentor in their own way. I learned a lot from Tupac, without him even actually teaching me. I learned a lot from him by just watching how hard he was. I think my brother Keenan will always be one of my greatest mentors. My brothers actually sit down and teach me.
MTW: Are you friends with Ice Cube? What’s your favorite Ice Cube track? What’s your favorite Ice Cube movie?
MW: Yeah, I like Ice Cube. He’s cool. We aren’t like besties, but we’re really cool. I like “It Was a Good Day,” and my favorite Cube movie would definitely be Friday.
MTW: In 2017, your own sitcom, Marlon, was launched on NBC. Now in its second season, the show is loosely based on your divorce, and characters have been inspired by your family and friends. When you created this show, what was your goal?
MW: When I first created this show, my intention was always to make people laugh. The intention was also to make myself laugh with something aspirational that’s based on something negative, but then find the positive in it. You have to look at your life and be like “What’s funny about it?” For me, looking at my life, I just took my worst situation and made it my best. Break-ups can be terrible, but we’re actually closer in our break-up than when we were together. You have to be with somebody to love somebody. I think it’s fine to just love people unconditionally. The show’s backdrop is about divorce, but it’s really about how to keep your family together.
MTW: What is the most unexpected thing about being a father?
MW: That children don’t listen to a program. You need to listen to kids, and not them listening to you. We’re so worried sometimes about them listening to us. Sometimes kids teach you, and you have to learn that every kid is different and you have to treat them as human beings. You have to listen to them. There’s no formula for raising your kids.
MTW: What do you love most about doing stand-up comedy?
MW: The freedom. In my show, I get to say what I want to say and how I want to say it.
MTW: What do you think Cardi B and Offset should name their child?
MW: Little Migo.
MTW: Do you have any words of wisdom for an aspiring actor, screenwriter, or stand-up comic?
MW: Hit the stage every night, three times a night. If you bomb, who cares, get back on the stage. You only fail when you quit trying. There’s a light at the end of every tunnel, just keep digging and stay a student. Read books on writing. Learn to write, learn to direct, learn to produce and create avenues and projects for yourself so you’re not kicking around waiting on Hollywood. Become your own machine.
Marlon Wayans will perform at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center on Sunday, July 22nd at 7:30pm. Tickets are $45.50-$59.50. Show contains adult themes. Recommended for a mature audience.
Cover Design: Darris Hurst
Cover photo courtesy NBCUniversal
Photo 1 courtesy Michael Carico
Photo of White Chicks courtesy IMDB
Photo 3 courtesy Facebook/Marlon Wayans