Marlon Wayans continues his reign as the king of comedy horror

The comedian takes the family legacy to the next level with new comedy special and TV projects

Marlon Wayans continues his reign as the king of comedy horror

The Wayans name is synonymous with Black Hollywood royalty. If Kenan and Damon were comedic kings, their brother Marlon was the young prince, lovingly referred to as the baby by peers and fans alike. Originally from New York City, the Wayans clan was large and tight-knit. Family came first, although the desire to use creativity to escape the reality of their struggle was present in the 10 siblings. Marlon acknowledges he grew into manhood as the baby brother to comedic legends, so he often was overlooked and or underestimated by others.

“I was the baby to everyone. I didn’t go through puberty until two years ago,” he jokes.

While there were numerous perks associated with being a Wayans, there was much to prove for the youngest Wayans in terms of his individual career. Today, Marlon Wayans is 50 years old and has carved a name for himself by venturing outside the family juggernaut of comedy. Dramatic roles in movies like GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra and Respect showed a different side of Wayans than audiences were familiar with. Still, comedy is the lifeblood of a Wayans and regardless of what doors his talent opens, Marlon insists on being faithful to his comedic roots. His new Netflix movie, “The Curse of Bridge Hollow,” is slated for release on Oct. 13. Wayans stars alongside Priah Ferguson and Kelly Rowland in a comedy horror just in time for Halloween.

His acting debut was in 1985  as a pedestrian in Kenan’s cult hit, I’m Gonna Get You Sucka. It was a bit part but it allowed Marlon to be a part of his brothers’ initial Hollywood takeover. He reminisces about how different the world was in the mid-’80s compared to the ultrasensitive cultural landscape comedians are forced to navigate today.

Marlon Wayans continues his reign as the king of comedy horror

“At that time, we were coming out of the ’70s which [were] wild times; free love, experimental drugs, AIDS had just hit and it was all about acceptance. During that time as a comedian, I got to poke fun at so many different things from pop culture, to race, to drugs, to just the overall culture.  And now we’re at a place where we’re being programmed what to think and feel. All freedom is gone because we’re slaves to our phones. We’re slaves to social media, and we are not social. We’re being told what we can say or not say.

“For me as an artist, I am still in my infancy, but I think I’m the loudest I’ve ever been. I’m at a place in my life where I am gonna say what I want to say and y’all are gonna feel how you want to feel. Most of the time, you realize it’s not the people who have become conservative, it’s the media-social media telling people what they need to think and what they need to be.

“Cancel culture is not real. I’m always gonna be on the side of truth, love and transparency and not giving a f—.  I know how to tell a joke. I’m a Wayans and we’re equal opportunity offenders,” he laughs. “If you can cancel me for a joke, you weren’t my fan to begin with.”

It may be easier for Wayans to ignore the threats of cancel culture because he writes and produces the majority of his movie and television projects. During this interview, he was preparing for his newest comedy special, “God Loves Me.” He financed and produced the entire project himself and brought it to Atlanta because of the city’s authenticity.

Marlon Wayans continues his reign as the king of comedy horror

“I felt like it was time for me to get back out and make people laugh. This special started with one joke and I played around with it and kept adding [jokes]. I got to about one hour and seven minutes of something special,” he teases.

The special cleverly chronicles detailed interactions with comedy legend Chris Rock, and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, among others. It’s Wayans’ interpretation of his transition to manhood in Hollywood and while he pokes fun at his peers, there is an undeniable respect for their craft, and his love for Black culture shines through.

“My mom was my smile and I lost myself for a minute after losing her. But making people smile is what I do. I dreamed [of doing] this, and so therefore, I have to make sure I take care of my smile. I see myself as an angel and deliverer of smiles. That’s why I’m so desperate on-screen. I’ve heard people say I overact or do too much. They say I’ll do anything for a laugh, and they are absolutely right. I’ll do anything to make you smile, and there is nothing wrong with that,” he affirms.

Photography by Nathan Pearcy Photography

Wardrobe by Saks/Phipps Plaza

Dave Jones & Tamara Ray-Eugene

Makeup by GlamBoss

Grooming by Gervis Armstrong

Videography by DaeRae Media Group for rolling out

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