Marlon Wayans, a stand-up comic, actor, writer, producer, and filmmaker, has given us plenty of the most memorable television and film moments. He performed his best work yet at the Majestic Theater on Sunday (September 17). “The best years are ahead of us (Wayans family),” said Wayans. “That was light work.”

During his favorite day of the week, the 51-year-old comedian will perform his woke-ish brand of comedy to a sold-out audience with much-needed nonstop laughter in Downtown Dallas. “Sunday is my favorite show because Fridays and Saturdays are a little hard because people be so drunk and turnt,” he says. “Sunday shows listeners they want to laugh, listen, enjoy, feel good, soulful. They went to church, so they’re ready to hear dark stuff because they probably prayed for me already.”

On Sunday, Marlon brought a universal comedy style that adapts to any atmosphere. For Suday’s show, he says he wanted to present an opportunity to escape the burdens of reality and laugh for a while is needed in the metroplex as it reminds people that laughter is medicine for the soul. “People need it, man. People are depressed, kids committing suicide, and people forgot how to laugh. And so I look, and I go, there’s a deficit. The world needs smiles. The world needs laughs. And I got my cape on, and I’m flying around to different cities every weekend and making them smile, making them laugh, make you forget your problems, make you understand that I’m human too, but here’s how you could live your life in a way that it’s enjoyable. And come to the show, come see what I’m doing, because it’s more than just laughs. You feel good.”

It’s no secret that Marlon Wayans is from comedy royalty. In addition to Keenen Ivory Wayans, Damon Wayans, Kim Wayans, and Shawn Wayans, the Wayans have built a show business empire that includes some of the best films and television comedies of the 1990s and 2000s  with In Living Color (1990-1994), My Wife and Kids (2000-2005), and The Wayans Bros (1995-1999). Alone, Marlon – the youngest Wayans sibling – has grossed over a billion dollars globally with films like Don’t Be A Menace (1996), White Chicks (2004), and A Haunted House (2013).

As a comedian, Marlon has released three hour-long standup specials, comedy albums, and selling-out shows nationwide. In his third comedy special, God Loves Me, he revealed that he left standup comedy for several decades due to Chris Rock. In the special, Marlon shares an early stand-up performance with the legendary comedic actor in attendance. Rock brutally criticizes his performance in front of a sold-out crowd, which led to him redirecting his focus to acting with the paralyzing fear of never performing stand-up comedy again for decades. 

“I should have slapped him,” says Wayans while he replayed Rock’s heckling in his head, simultaneously referring to Rock slapped by Will Smith at the Emmy Awards a year ago. 

Marlon Wayans would find his way back to stand-up following his solo and family’s superstar achievements in film and television. While he stepped away to focus on other skill sets, he experienced a lot in life that makes resourceful stand-up material because experiencing more life in comedy makes you a better comic. When about age in comedy makes for a better comedian, he said:

“I think comedy is you pulling from a well. And when you’re a young comedian, you don’t have that much life experience. I’m 50. I could talk about multiple things. I’ve been a father for 23 years. I’ve had dated many people. I’ve had many sexual experiences. I’ve had many years in this industry come across many different people and different interactions. And I just had life. And then you start having things happen that hurt, failed relationships, and death. When you start dealing with that stuff, life is the best writer, the best teacher because the well of your material becomes a lot more grounded and weighted in truth. It’s not just some silly stuff, right? I’m literally rescuing myself from depression when I’m on stage, and I’m talking to people. And so you’re listening because yo, he feels this. This ain’t just… He ain’t just saying stuff. He’s saying what he’s feeling. And it’s funny because he is so truthful about it, and it resonates because we all go through these things. And I don’t need to talk about the audience. I don’t need to talk about politics. I don’t need to talk about silly stuff that happens in the everyday news. That’s not what I want to do. I want to talk about me. And that means I’m talking about you, and we’re all going to relate.”

A jack of all trades is a master of none but oftentimes better than a master of one. Wayans’ return to the road has contributed to his growth as a well-rounded performer. Stand-up bolsters his portfolio in pursuit of international fame. He said that stand-up elevates his profile in the following ways:

“It’s making me a beast.—my first years. I’m in it for three decades now, and my first ten years was about becoming a star and really putting my imprint down as an actor. And my next ten years was about being a star, a writer, and a producer. But these last ten years have been about becoming a comedian because what I’m really looking for in the next ten years, 20 years, it’s become a worldwide international megastar. Superstardom, mega stardom. I’m looking to be that dude. I’m looking to be, hey, we got this movie. I want to be one of the top five names mentioned. I want to be one of the top five names. I don’t care if it’s a drama or comedy. When it comes to standup, I want to be one of the top five names. I’m trying to sell hard tickets. I’m trying to give people shows that make them laugh, and then they remember it in here. I’m trying to be that dude. I’m going to be my best me. And I feel like all the preparation I had is preparation like nobody else. I’ve been marinating for 30 years, and everybody’s been watching me grow. And then all of a sudden, it’s like, yo, he does standup too? A lot of times, comedians are discovered at a point, and you go, yo, who’s that guy? I’ve been here for 30 years, and they’re still going to go, yo, who’s that guy? That’s what I’m looking for. My time is upon me.”

According to Marlon, focusing on stand-up after dedicating decades to acting, writing, and directing was pre-determined by his faith in God. 

He continued: “I didn’t decide. God decided. Life decided. Experience decided. Desires decided. Necessity decided. If I want to be somewhere, all I did was set the intention of what I wanted to do, and then the work just became the work. I had to start writing, producing, and creating my own movies because Hollywood wasn’t hiring me. Hollywood, they’re like seven black guys they hire or 10, right? And if you don’t fit in that pocket, I’m not made by Hollywood. That’s what’s crazy, is I’m a self-made man. I’ve been. And one day, when Hollywood starts going, “Yo, you’re that guy,” Hollywood’s going to make a lot of money. I’ve made Hollywood a lot of money because I go, “Hey, here’s this great project that we want to do called White Chicks.” “Here’s the show we want to do, Wayans’ Brothers. Here’s another show I want to do. Marlon. You know what? It’d be great if we do a parody of hood movies. Don’t Be a Menace. You know what would be funny? We should do a funny horror movie — a Haunted House. Nobody’s given me nothing, and I can’t wait for the days when they get what life, through this art, has made me, in terms of a multifaceted talent that I know… That I own that I am. I used to… I’m working on that. I used to be a lot more humble. And there’s a point where humility got to go out the window, and you got to own your skillset. You got to own your grade. You got to own where you are. I know how to blow up a room. I can act my ass off. I know how to do characters. There ain’t nothing I can’t do. It’s like telling a pilot, “Yeah, I can fly through that hurricane. Why? Because I’ve logged 10,000 hours in five different disciplines. So I got 50,000. It takes 10,000 to be great or something. I got 50,000 miles in five different disciplines. So I’m just ready, man. I’m ready. There’s never been a better time for Marlon Wayans than right now.” 

Outgrown Rock’s heckles, Marlon admits he wouldn’t rewrite history if able because he trusts the determent was God’s plan. When asked about possibilities, he answered with the following:

“I trust God in this journey. Whatever God has for me is exactly how he wrote it. It’s exactly how it was supposed to happen. And I don’t question. I think that if I had done it earlier, who knows what I would be. But then again, maybe I would be tired of it. When people are kind of walking through it, I’m excited every weekend to be on the road like a monster. If I’d been doing this for 30 years, I’d be like, I’ll do a tour every now and again. Forget a tour, I’m always on the road. I stay on the road. I stay right. I’m hungry, I’m hungry, I’m thirsty, and I’m glad that I still feel this way. I still feel that fire. Every show, I’m going out there, I’m playing for keeps, man. I’m trying to… These are them years where I’m going to make y’all remember my name when I’m gone. When you turn on something Marlon, you’re going to be like, yo, he was that dude. Funny. I’m going to leave y’all with some smiles. And so I’m coming, and I don’t care about anybody else doing whatever they do. I’m proud of all my brothers. I love all my peers in this business, and we all work hard. I just know that I’m owning my time, for me. This is my best years.”

Prior to Sunday’s, Marlon Wayans guaranteed a feel-good experience at The Majestic for a crowd coming to the show for any occasion. He also suggests that you bring someone or a group who shouldn’t miss this red-hot performance. 

“I’m bringing the heat,” he said when asked about Sunday’s show. “Y’all come on down. Ladies, dress up. I may dress up for this show and look good. Y’all come out. I guarantee you’re going to feel good. You’re going to laugh. Bring a date. Brothers, come out with your friends. Come on through.”

Bryson "Boom" Paul is a culture journalist by way of Bakersfield, California. A Dallas resident by way of California, he has written for LA Weekly, OC Weekly, Hip Hop DX and ThisisRNB. He is a CSUB graduate...