Marlon Wayans has a warning for those who show up to the Warnors Theatre to see his Scandal-Less Comedy Tour: Expect the unexpected.
“That has made me both loved and hated,” Wayans says during an early morning telephone interview.
The early hour was necessary because Wayans is not only bouncing across the country with this comedy tour, but he is in the middle of filming a pilot for a potential new TV comedy show. This comes on the heels of the release of his feature film “Fifty Shades of Black.”
It’s all part of his master plan of comedy.
“I just love making people laugh, and I love working,” Wayans says.
He’s been that way all his life. When he was young, the New York native had a job at a pizza parlor where he was paid $25 every two weeks, as well as all the pizza he could eat. His parents made him quit the job because they believed the parlor was taking advantage of him. Wayans cried because he just loved working so much.
And now that work ethic has transferred to his adult comedy life.
Wayans comes from a large family of comedians that includes Dwayne Wayans, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Damon Wayans, Kim Wayans, Nadia Wayans and Shawn Wayans. Even with all that funny firepower in his life, Wayans has forged his career on his own.
“I never go to them to work on material. I do my own thing. I love my brothers, but I just have to be me, and I couldn’t do that around my brothers,” Wayans says. “I have to figure out my own boundaries. Then, I have to push those boundaries.
“You have to touch those nerves. I will try things, and I don’t give a hell if I fail. That’s the only way to learn.”
And he’s learned well. The actor, producer, comedian, writer and film director has seen his movies gross more than $736 million in domestic box office totals. Before working on what could be his next TV show, Wayans hosted the NBC reality competition show, “I Can Do That!”
Wayans describes his new TV series as being loosely based on his own life.
“It is me as an inappropriate dad doing the best he can to raise his children. I am not Cosby,” Wayans says. “But Cosby wasn’t Cosby.”
As if all of that weren’t enough, Wayans also launched the online venture WhatTheFunny.com, which is a place for established and emerging comedians, writers and actors.
And then there is the comedy tour. Even if you have seen Wayans perform in recent weeks, his show is always a work in progress. He has to approach the show that way because there is so much happening in the world that gets his comedy attention, including the current race for the White House.
Wayans thanks the comedy gods for the material the campaigns are giving him, then “questions the devil” because of what is happening. It’s ludicrous to him what is taking place, but when it comes to comedy, the more ludicrous the better.
“This campaign is like a bunch of villains from the old ‘Batman’ TV show,” Wayans says.
Keeping up with current events is just one more thing that keeps Wayans busy. He says that his mother has often joked that if she could bottle his energy, she could be a billionaire.
As for his stop here, his show is better suited for those 18 and older. But, Wayans says if someone wants to bring youngsters to the show, it is OK with him, as long as the parents don’t mind their child hearing him curse and talk about sex.
Just be sure to strap in because Wayans promises a fast comedy ride.
“I don’t leave time for heckling,” Wayans says. “Look at my show as if Michael Jackson was alive and he did comedy instead of music and he still had all his nose.”
Scandal-Less Comedy Tour
- Starring: Marlon Wayans
- Where: Warnors Theatre, Fresno
- When: 8 p.m. Thursday, March 31
- Tickets: $30, $35 at tickets.warnors.org