Comedic veteran, Marlon Wayans, has spent a large part of his career on the screen and behind the cameras. From his days of making the parodical films, “Don’t Be a Menace” and “Scary Movie”, to the “A Haunted House” film series, in which he wrote, to his hit NBC show, Marlon. Now, Marlon Wayans is ready to make his mark in the stand-up world, starting with his new Netflix special, Woke-ish. Before Marlon released, Woke-ish, he spent half of a decade honing the craft of stand up comedy, in order to be certain of two things: one, that he wasn’t lacking when it came to producing funny material, and two, to ensure that he was showing respect to the craft of stand up comedy, by putting in the proper work of a stand up comic. Comedy Hype caught up with Marlon Wayans to get the scoop on his debut comedy special, Woke-ish, plus more!
CH: Your brand new stand up special, Woke-ish, is available right now on Netflix. You’ve been doing stand up for a while now, what made you decide that it was time for a one-hour special?
MW: So there are two reasons I wanted to release a stand-up special; one part is, I’ve been doing stand up for 6 years now, and I wanted to mark where I was as a comedian. Not for others, but for myself. I want to personally look back at this special and see where I was in terms of funniness. As a comedian, you’re always telling yourself, “I can get better”, and this just helps me bookmark exactly where I was at in year 6. The second part is, like anyone who does stand up, I felt like I had a story to tell and I felt like I had a responsibility; as a father, as an American and as a black comedian, I have a responsibility to talk about the things that are going on in our country and our world, and to find the humor in them, so we can all laugh together and bond over something, even if it’s just for a moment.
CH: Let’s talk about the title of the special, Woke-ish — what exactly does it mean to be Woke-ish?
MW: Being Woke is like going to see Black Panther the day it opens, and you’re the first one there, because you know how culturally important the film is. But being Woke-ish, is like going to see Black Panther three weeks after its release; you had good intentions, but they just didn’t fall into place [Laughs]. Being Woke-ish, is like you’re deep, but you’re not that deep.
CH: Your NBC show, Marlon is gearing up to come back for season 2. For people who were fans of season 1, what can they expect from season 2 of Marlon?
MW: In season 2 of Marlon, we’re going deeper into everything that you saw in season 1, but we’re going to continue to focus on Marlon and Ashley trying to maintain a friendship and a happy divorce. You’ll just continue to see us grow as a family. Season 2 of Marlon, is going to be even funnier than season 1 and I’m very excited about it.
CH: The Wayans family is known for being pioneers in the realm of comedic filmmaking. Your family has made cult classics such as, Don’t Be a Menace, White Chicks and the Scary Movie series. You started carrying the filmmaking torch, when you made A Haunted House and A Haunted House 2. Are there plans to make more films?
“Definitely. I love making films. I just don’t want to do any more parodies. I’m ready to take it to another level. I still want to make comedies, but I want to make them of a different stature. I may even do something as fun as an action-comedy. And of course, I want to challenge myself and do dramas as well. I’m aiming to be one of those reliable movie stars like, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Denzel Washington or Will Smith; someone who’s implemented their personality into every film that they’ve done and can be versatile from project to project. I just want to play the game at a different level now.”
CH: Now, jumping back into the stand-up world, are there any chances of giving fans of the Wayans family what they’ve all been waiting for — a Wayans family tour?
MW: I would love to. We actually tried to do a tour a few years back, but it only lasted a couple of months. It takes a lot build and maintain a tour with a lot of moving parts. We’re all doing a lot right now, but I won’t rule it out. It could definitely happen if all of the moving parts were in place to make it happen.
CH: Your new stand up special, Woke-ish is available right now on Netflix. After your fans watch the special, what else should they be looking forward to?
MW: You can look forward to season 2 of Marlon, which should be premiering in the spring or summer of this year. I’m also looking forward to put together a stand-up tour, performing an hour of brand new material.
Marlon Wayans’ new one-hour special, “Woke-ish” is available right now on Netflix