US comedy star Shawn Wayans is known and loved by Aussie audiences for his decades-long movie career and starring roles in Little Man, White Chicks, Scary Movie and the Emmy-award winning cult comedy series In Living Colour.
Shawn has written, directed and co-written a string of blockbuster movies since his 1989 debut feature film I’m Gonna Get You Sucka, but he’s equally well known to comedy-loving audiences in the US and Canada who clamour for tickets to see his laid-back stand-up comedy style live. After a sold-out 2013 tour with his brother Marlon, the stand-up star is ready to hit our shores solo for the first time.
His tour will take in The Perth Comedy Festival (23 April-20 May). Wayans will be at the Regal Theatre on Tuesday 15th May. Check here for details.
AccessReel recently had a chat with the busy actor, producer, writer and comedian in advance of his visit. He remembers that last trip to Australia with brother Marlon. “I thought it was awesome, the people were great, the venues were wonderful and we had a great time doing it – that’s why I’m coming back.” Wayans’ Tour will eventually take him all around the country, in double-quick time. “I’m going to be running and gunning,” he says. “Probably a city a night. Once I’m done, I’ll figure out if I’m going to hang out for a few days after.”
Shawn is probably best known in Australia for the movie White Chicks which he conceived, wrote and starred in. He remembers coming up with the idea. “We were trying to think what we could do for our next movie after Scary Movie 2. I came up with the idea about 5 in the morning, I pitched it to my brothers and they thought it would be funny.” He says there has been plenty of talk of a sequel and reports that he and his brothers have often “kicked that idea around”.
Shawn has been working on the craft of stand-up for years. His heroes growing up were Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Jerry Seinfeld, Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, Abbot and Costello, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis and Sam Kinnison. He remembers how much work he had to do to get anywhere near the standards of his comic icons. “The first shows that I did, they sucked.” he says. “You got to start somewhere. You start off, not that great, then you keep working until you get better and better, until finally you get the hang of it.”
Wayans reports that he will do some online research for his Australian shows before he hits our shores. He describes his shows as “Fun physical honesty.” We finished our talk with Mr Wayans by asking him what got him into comedy in the first place. “Roaches in my cereal,” he says laughing, “I didn’t want any more of that.”
For those that want full details of his Australian Tour click here for more information.