Damon Wayans brings stand-up to Raleigh

Published Thu, Jun 12, 2014 08:26 PM
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Submitted by Ed Condran — Correspondent

Comedian Tommy Smothers once said during an interview that the only way he gets attention is by performing on the road. “My wife doesn’t think I’m funny,” Smothers says. “In fact, none of my wives thought I was funny. I have to go on tour to get that approval.”

Damon Wayans is in the same situation. The divorced father of four is a peripheral being to his adult children. “That’s the way it goes when kids grow up,” Wayans says while calling from his Los Angeles home. “I call them during New Year’s Eve and they don’t want to hang out. They’ll say that they might come over. I get dressed and wait and they ditch me. I never get that call, unless it’s for money. My son asked for $100,000 to start a gangsta rap label and I told him no and that it’s not very gangsta to ask your father for the money.”

So Wayans, 53, expresses himself through his grandchildren (“I love them to death,” Wayans says) or by touring. Wayans has been a stand-up since the early ’80s, but reached another level after co-creating and starring in the inspired Fox sketch-comedy show “In Living Color.” He went on to star in such films as “The Last Boy Scout,” “Major Payne” and “The Great White Hype.”

“Damon is one of the most talented actor-comics out there,” “Last Boy Scout” co-star Taylor Negron says. “He’s so gifted.”

Wayans, who will perform through Sunday at Goodnights Comedy Club in Raleigh, is a solid actor, but he’s at his best onstage holding forth about life.

“There’s so much to talk about these days,” Wayans says. “It’s crazy because we live in a generation of famous nobodies. It’s absurd how the most famous woman in the world has no talent. Kim Kardashian is famous for having a big butt. I wish I had a butt like that. It’s crazy. Television is very different in terms of how it’s done today. Who needs writers? Let’s just do a reality show. Just go and toss a drink in someone’s face and let’s see what happens. It’s absurd. The bar has been lowered.”

An expressive family

However, his son, Damon Wayans Jr., is currently making a splash in a recurring role on the Fox hit series “New Girl.” “I’m very proud of him,” Wayans says. “He’s doing really well, but all of my kids have it. It’s a matter of them wanting it and dealing with the pressure. They have a famous dad, famous uncles, famous aunts.”

Wayans grew up in New York City, the son of a supermarket manager and a social worker. He was one of 10 children. Seven of those children beat the odds and became successful entertainers. Keenan Ivory, Marlon, Shawn, Dwayne, Kim and Nadia have each found a niche as performers.

“People always wonder how we’ve achieved so much as a family,” Wayans says. “My parents always encouraged us to be close and they never told us to be quiet. We were always allowed to express ourselves.”

Working on apps

When Wayans isn’t expressing himself onstage, he’s creating apps. “I really love working on apps,” Wayans says. “Some (of his peers) buy cars in their spare time, I work on apps. I’m always getting inspired. I was at a conference and someone gave me a business card and I thought, ‘Wow, people are still giving out physical business cards?’ Something is wrong with that.”

So Wayans invented the app Flick Dat, which is designed to replace the business card.

“You can make your own card in a moment,” Wayans says. “You can do it in no time.”

Perhaps Wayans will be able to connect with his tech-savvy kids through his hobby. “I don’t know about that,” Wayans says. “I don’t think about them when I work on these apps. I think about one thing: ‘mo money, mo money, mo money.’ 


Who: Damon Wayans

When: 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Sunday

Where: Goodnights Comedy Club, 861 W. Morgan St., Raleigh

Cost: $40-$46

Info: 919-828-5233 or goodnightscomedy.com

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