It’s pretty damn hard not to laugh after seeing the legendary Marlon Wayans on screen or on stage.
The Manhattan-raised comedic genius – one of many talented people in his family – has been putting smiles on television and in hilarious films since the late 1980s. Wayans recently embarked on a stand-up tour across America and Canada – catch him in Newark, NJ (August 11 & 13) and Bensalem, Pennsylvania (August 12).
This week, the famous Wayans brother on “Renaissance Man” has an extremely important message: You can still be funny in 2023!
“I was raised to tell jokes and I’ll never shy away from telling my jokes,” Marlon told me in a passionate voice, which caused a lot of trouble for the break-up culture offstage as well.
“Most people on social media with these [negative] Opinions aren’t even real people… They’re trying to take away from us the very thing that makes our country so special: freedom of speech.”
Recently, Marlon’s comedy addressed the senseless violence and brawl at an Alabama dock that drew the nation’s attention. He spoke about that at length in this week’s episode — along with the negative reaction to his own comment on the incident.
“I think social media has messed up social gatherings and we need to laugh again and find reasons to laugh and stop being so damn touchy,” he said. “All we do is fill our ether and shower our children with fear and hate – there is no laughter and no love. The only thing that will bring us together is humor.”
Marlon even worries about the direction free speech is taking in America.
He said it was time to take it back — here and now.
“Sooner or later they will repeal the First Amendment. We all have to think the same way,” Marlon said.
“People are being cancelled. “You can’t think like that.” What kind of society do we live in? … It’s okay to laugh at things. I laugh my way through life and those who want to live in the drama, y’all can find the drama and tears while I find these jokes,” he said.
Marlon isn’t kidding when he says the power of great humor got him through tough moments.
“Comedy saved my life many times,” he said. “[Once before] I went on stage, found out my father had died and I didn’t cancel the show… I got a standing ovation and when I [finally] Let the audience know my father passed away. I collapsed on stage.
As in his own case, Marlon – who said he would become a lawyer if not a comedian – believes many more people can use humor, not negativity, to deal with life’s hardships in a way that connects them with more love.
The message is simple: America. Just laugh more!
“Our goal is always for our jokes to bring people together… The people we make fun of laugh the loudest,” Marlon said. “We all live here in this country — mostly in harmony — laughing and making fun of each other.”
Detroit native Jalen Rose is a member of the University of Michigan’s iconoclastic Fab Five that disrupted the college basketball world in the early ’90s. He played 13 seasons in the NBA before blossoming into a media personality. Rose was executive producer of The Fab Five for the ESPN series 30 for 30, is the author of the best-selling book Got To Give the People What They Want, is a fashion trendsetter and co-founder of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy , a public charter school in his hometown.