Known and loved by audiences for his quick-wit, raw humour and through his starring roles in White Chicks, Scary Movie and Scary Movie 2, American actor, writer, producer and comedian Shawn Wayans is set to hit Aussie shores in May next year.
“I am very excited, it’s my second time there. Last time I had a blast so I’m looking forward to coming back,” Wayans reveals, who was last in the country in 2013 performing a double act with brother Marlon Wayans across Australia and New Zealand. This time however, Wayans will be hitting our comedy stages solo.
“Well I just didn’t want to pay Marlon so I’m coming to get the money by myself,” he jokes before continuing, “No, Marlon is busy doing stand-up and I’m doing stand-up on my own too. I like to talk for more than 15 minutes, and when we were here together we had to cut our time down a lot, so this time I get to be on stage a little longer and explore some things that I’m working on… One day we’ll come back together.”
When you hear the last name “Wayans”, you automatically know that laughter will be involved. That is how the comedic family built their empire. In particular, Shawn Wayans made his acting debut in his brother Keenen Ivory Wayans’ feature film I’m Gonna Get You Sucka (1989), joined the cast of the Emmy Award winning comedy series, In Living Color, and then created and starred in the sitcom The Wayans Bros alongside brother Marlon from 1995 to 1999. This signalled the beginning of a very long and successful career in TV and film for Wayans, including starring in and even writing films such as Scary Movie, Scary Movie 2 (directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans), Little Man, White Chicks, Dance Flick and Don’t Be a Menace.
Despite being surrounded by plenty of in-house influences, with older brothers Keenen Ivory, Damon, and younger brother Marlon competing for laughs, Wayans admits that comedy was always a choice rather than a pre-determined career.
“There wasn’t ever any pressure; I chose to do this, it’s not like someone was standing over me punching me in my leg telling me ‘you gotta be funny’,” he laughs, “I wasn’t bullied into humour. It was something I actually had the ability and the desire to do, to make people laugh, so I went with that. My brothers just showed me what to do with my comedic thirst.”
With a strong thirst for comedy, Wayans has always kept stand-up as a priority throughout his successful TV and film career, referring to comedy as his own type of workout.
“It’s my gym,” he says of his long tradition of frequenting comedy club stages to condition his skills. “People go to the gym to get abs, and their chest and muscles, and you do stand-up to keep your brain strong, sharp and quick, and I find for me, it helps me with any other project I’m doing whether it be film or TV, or writing. It just keeps me sharp for that. That, and the fact that it gives me a high. You’re not just seeing people laugh,” the comedic genius continues, “you’re feeling them laugh, you feel it so it’s that energy that I love.”
Clearly a man of many talents, Wayans keeps himself busy year after year with continuous projects, including creating The Boo Crew animated specials for Nickelodeon along with his brothers and sisters.
“In my head, it’s ‘Charlie Brown meets Fat Albert with a hip hop twist’, about nine kids growing up in Boo York City of all different nationalities all playing together and going through the trials and tribulations of life growing up in Boo York,” he explains. “Our mission is to teach kids life lessons through humour and music.”
Currently, A Boo Crew Christmas Special is available on its YouTube channel, The Boo Crew TV, and Wayans reveals there’s a third episode coming out next year.
Comedy is always on Wayans mind, guaranteeing you to be in for a few laughs at his hilarious and energetic live solo shows in May 2018.
“I’m excited about coming back,” he reveals, “They [the stand-up sets] are energetic. It’s funny actually, off stage I’m pretty reserved, but once I get on stage I turn up.”
Make sure you get in early for tickets to see this comedy legend live!
The legendary comic will kick off his 2018 Australian tour at The Star Gold Coast on Thursday 10 May, going onto Melbourne’s Palais Theatre, Adelaide Entertainment Centre and Regal Theatre for Perth Comedy Festival, before wrapping up at the Enmore Theatre on Friday 18 May for Sydney Comedy Festival.
Tickets available via ticketmaster.com.au
Written by Talia Rinaldo