Q&A with Marlon Wayans

Aug. 20, 2014 at 12:21 p.m.
Updated Aug. 20, 2014 at 5:27 p.m.

Marlon Wayans on the set of his TBS  reality show, "Funniest Wins."

Marlon Wayans on the set of his TBS reality show, "Funniest Wins."   CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY Patrick Wymore for The Victoria Advocate

Marlon Wayans may be one comedian among the Wayans sibling clan, but he may have received his gift of clowning from his mother, Elvira Wayans, he said.

Both of Wayans' parents, however, begot the actor's heightened work ethic, said Wayans, of "In Living Color," "The Wayans Bros." and "Scary Movie" fame.

So even though he's been entertaining audiences for more than two decades and recently wrapped season one of his rise-to-the-top amateur comedy show, "Funniest Wins," Wayans refuses to slow down.

The Victoria Advocate caught up with Wayans to discuss the comedic longevity he's experienced in Hollywood and his upcoming shows at the Golden Gecko this weekend.

Comedy is in your blood, and you're a seasoned pro by now with more than 20 years in the business. How does that help you work with amateur comedians like the ones on your show, "Funniest Wins"?

It inspires me on several levels. The grind I put these guys through is tough. It's like a test. And for me, I want to go through the grind like that. I just get it done. You have to be a taskmaster. So I'm proud of those guys. They inspire me. And I'm proud of that show.

Do you ever think back on your early days in the business and want to go back to that innocence or excitement?

No, because I live my last day like it was my first. As in, every show is like my first. I still have a certain desperation about me, and I don't rest on my laurels. And I love what I do, so I never want sit back and believe I don't have to work. My mom and dad were like that. You just get it done. They worked to feed 10 kids. My dad didn't enjoy his job necessarily, but he enjoyed feeding his kids. So I enjoy my job, and I also enjoy feeding my kids.

Do you think you're still the same guy as you were 24 years ago when you entered the business?

The same but different. I'm a lot wiser. I'm not jaded. For me, when I'm disappointed, I don't let it get to me. I believe in alchemy: There's a greater purpose for everything. I leave it in God's hands. It's my personal journey. I'm spiritual, not religious. I believe in life, love and laughter. I believe in growing, unbounded, unconditional love. I believe hate can be driven out with love, and laughter is healing.

Who do you think is the funniest in your family?

My mom. She's just funny, quick-witted, clever. She's definitely the funniest.

I asked readers what they wanted to know about you, and the most consistent response was "How does it feel to be the hot one in the family?"

I don't know, you'll have to ask my brothers. I think all of them are better looking than me.

Do you think you're funny?

Judging by the amount of people I make laugh, I don't question whether I'm funny. I can always be funnier. I think I'm a really hard worker, and it's just going to get better.

As a fellow comedian, what was your reaction when you learned Robin Williams committed suicide?

I was broken down. I was hurt. It's tragic whenever a comedian dies in that kind of manner, whether it's suicide, or they just died. First, I think there's always some kind of connection with antidepressants and suicide. I hope that's not the case, but we need to watch out for prescription meds. But second, when people clown a lot, other people don't see the person inside the clown. They just think you're supposed dance all day. But the reality is we hurt, too.

Why do you think you've had so much longevity in the business?

I just love what I do. If I fail, I get inspired to take it to the next level. I work on my body because it keeps me strong. I have strong work ethic. It's not about your talent; it's about what you do with it. You get better every day.

What can your Victoria audience expect to see at your show?

I don't know. It's going to be a special night. I will be raw, funny. I expect to get some "ewws," but I'm planning to get a few "ahhhs." This hour will be a whole lot more revealing and more about my perspective on things.



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