Shawn Wayans comes from what rightly might be called Comedy’s Royal Family.
The ninth of 10 siblings, Wayans says his older brothers led the way into show business, and he was only too happy to follow.
“Growing up, we were all class clowns and went to the same school. So when the teachers saw us they knew what was coming next,” Wayans explains.
“In fact, everyone in my family is funny,” Wayans says. “Growing up we didn’t have much money but we had laughter and that’s what we used to get through the hard times.”
And there was never any sibling rivalry in the Wayans household, he continues. “About the only thing we used to fight over was our father’s drawers. We thought his didn’t have any holes in them. That’s why we wanted them. But we came to discover his had holes too.”
And today, it’s things like those memories and more that pepper Wayans’ routines when he’s doing his stand-up, which he’ll be doing once again at the Punch Line Comedy Club on Aug. 2 and Aug. 3.
“I don’t talk about topical stuff, unless it’s something that really strikes my fancy,” the 48-year-old comic, actor, producer and writer says. “In my act I mainly talk about my life and things that happen in it.”
And what a life it’s been. A professional since the age of 17, Wayans made his acting debut in brother Keenan Ivory Wayans’ feature film “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka,” and later joined the cast of the hit TV sketch show “In Living Color.”
Wayans says he loves everything he does — and he does a lot — but stand-up is his first love. “It’s that immediate reaction from the audience that I love. When someone passes by and taps you on the shoulder telling you how much your routine made them laugh, I get a kind of joy that gives me a certain high I can’t really explain, but it’s great.”
And in today’s world, Wayans says it’s a little easier to make people laugh.
“So their laughter is louder, stronger sometimes. I think they really want to laugh,” he says.
Today, Wayans is happy to see the family expanding, adding his own children to the mix.
“Becoming a father changes your outlook on life. Now that they’re here, I don’t just live for myself anymore. I live for them. I want to make their existence here better,” he says.
But that doesn’t mean he spoils his children. The father of three says he does everything in his power to keep his children grounded.
“I let them see how hard I work to achieve what I’ve achieved. That being said, they are all hard workers in their own way, pursuing their own dreams. And I’m very proud of that,” Wayans says.