THZ EXCLUSIVE: An Interview with Comedian Shawn Wayans

Photo Credit: Claire Darnell

Photo Credit: Clarie Darnell

In case you haven’t heard, Shawn Wayans is hilarious.  It’s to be expected — he comes from the comedic, Wayans family dynasty.  Wayans is perhaps best known for his work on sketch comedy show, In Living Color, cult classic movie White Chicks, and the Scary Movie films (Wayans wrote the first two.).  Next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at The Comedy Club in Rochester, NY, Wayans will be doing his stand-up routine.  On Thursday, June 11, his show is at 7:30, and on the 12 and 13, he’ll be doing two shows at 7:30 and 10:00.  At The Hot Zone, we were lucky enough to sit down and chat with him, and believe us — we were not disappointed!

The Hot Zone: What can we expect from your upcoming comedy shows in Rochester?

Shawn Wayans: Lots of laughs, lots of honesty, and some good physical comedy.

THZ: That sounds like my kind of show. So, what’s your favorite project that you’ve ever done?

SW: I think that I would say my favorite, favorite of all, where we laughed the most, was In Living Color. It was an awesome experience, it was an awesome show, we had awesome people on it, and it was a great time.

THZ: You’ve worked in both TV and film. Do you prefer one over the other?

SW: No. I like them both. They’re both fun. TV, sometimes, it’s hard to execute your vision creatively because of the standards and practices, and with film, you have a little bit more leeway.

THZ: Do you feel like you’re more in your element when you’re acting on film or when you’re performing live?

SW: I’m in my element either way, but, like, with TV and film, there’s so many other people watching you and there’s a lot of technical stuff you have to worry about. So, it’s not just like raw, uninhibited kind of insanity happening. In stand-up, it’s just you and that microphone and the stage.

THZ: What’s the best thing about writing a parody like Scary Movie or Dance Flick?

SW: You get to laugh all the way through. You’re making fun of something. It’s actually one of the most difficult movies to write. People don’t understand that. It’s harder than writing any other comedy. In a parody, you need, like, ten to twelve really big laughs, and you need a bunch of little ones in between there.

THZ: Who’s your favorite comedian?

SW: I have two favorite comedians of all time – Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor.

THZ: No other performer could have done what Eddie Murphy did for Saturday Night Live.

SW: The only other performer who could have done what he did for Saturday Night Live was Richard Pryor. Those are my comedic heroes – outside of my brothers.

THZ: What’s one of your favorite family memories?

SW: We used to drive up to this park, and we used to have a picnic.

THZ: Do you think you’d ever do anything other than comedy?

SW: You know, I used to say, “No, never, never, never.” But now, I’m more like, “You never know.” Now I’m more, “If it’s great, I’m open.” I am definitely toying with the idea of creating some drama because I have a lot of ideas.

THZ: So, who’s your favorite character that you’ve ever played?

SW: It would be the girl I played in White Chicks. Brittany. Or Tiff. I’m not sure which one I was.

THZ: You’re a New York native. For all the tourists out there, what’s your favorite place to get pizza?

SW: Ray’s Pizza on 10th Street and 6th Avenue. It was the famous Ray’s Pizza, everyone in New York knew about it, and a couple years ago, they changed it to Rodeo’s Pizza.

THZ: Do you have any favorite standup memories?

SW: I loved going to the clubs with my brother, Damon, and Chris Rock when I first started. We used to hit the clubs with the circuit in New York. We had a lot a fun.

Don’t forget to catch Shawn Wayans at The Comedy Club in Rochester, NY on June 11-13!

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2 Responses to THZ EXCLUSIVE: An Interview with Comedian Shawn Wayans

  1. Jason Robinson says:

    Funny guy and an all around super talented family.

  2. Debra says:

    Good interview!
    I agree that parody would be more difficult to write than comedy

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