For many years, the only television sketch-comedy was the long-running Saturday Night Live. That changed in 1990, when former stand-up and director of the Blaxploitation spoof I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, Keenan Ivory Wayans, created In Living Color, a groundbreaking weekly halfhour collection of skits that transformed the face of comedy.
Since then, Keenan — as well as his brothers Damon, Marlon and Shawn — has moved on to conquer Hollywood with numerous sitcoms and theatrical films. But for the brothers, stand-up stayed in their blood.
“I actually have some free time now, and we all wanted to go out together and do a comedy tour,” Keenan said.
On Saturday, Keenan and Shawn Wayans bring their act to Oklahoma. While the official tour doesn’t begin until 2014, the pair couldn’t resist an opportunity to take the show on the road.
Neither Keenan nor Shawn have performed in Oklahoma before, but this is a show that both of them have looked forward to. They promise to be “honest, physical and funny” for the Sooner audience.
“I’m always excited to go to a place I’ve never performed,” Shawn said. “I’ve been around the world, and it’s always interesting to see where your stuff goes over well and where it doesn’t.”
While this is Keenan’s long-awaited return to stand-up, Shawn, star of hit films such as Don’t Be a Menace, South Central and Scary Movie, never left the stage.
“I started doing stand-up in my last year of high school, and I never stopped,” Shawn said. “It’s like the gym. It keeps [me] in comedic shape so that I can write my movies or TV shows with confidence.”
Keenan, however, said he is in a different place now than his early ’80s stand-up, and his set reflects that and creates a different point of view from his younger brother’s.
“Comedy is all about life experiences,” Keenan said. “I’m divorced, a single dad raising teenagers, trying to date — so that’s my world right now,” he said. “Shawn is much more pop-culture. He’s younger, he’s in the clubs, into music, a lot of things that I’ve sort of moved past. So what you’ll see is sort of two different generations of comedy.”
Keenan expects audiences to be pleasantly surprised by the stand-up he and his brother have prepared.
“Most people know us from doing funny TV shows and movies, but this is where we really started, each of us, where we honed our voices. You’re going to get to know the real us.”