When you are Marlon Wayans where do you find concepts for content for entertaining audiences in a time where attention is sought via various mediums? Your own life. The latest adventure for the comedian, actor, and screenwriter is a new sitcom taking to NBC that is simply titled “Marlon.”
The new sitcom follows the life of Marlon Wayne, an Internet personality, who is engaged in a friendly and healthy relationship with his ex-wife and believes in proper co-parenting with his family first mentality. The family dynamic of the show is a refreshing outlook on life after marriage, which in real life and entertainment is often burdened with dysfunction.
Within the first few episodes of the series Marlon and his ex-wife, Ashley (Essence Atkins), are faced with issues such as being “exes with benefits,” dating other people and the general hurdles that come with parenting such as bullying.
When you speak with Marlon he will be sure to let you know that for the show nothing is held back. If it occurs in his life it will be included in the show. “The show to me is a love letter to my family,” Wayans shared.
“I got two nerds. My son tries to hide his bad report card. My daughter is insanely talented. She can sing and write, she can’t dance. She got two left feet,” Wayans shared. “She’s very talented and these are their years to mess up.”
On a visit to Chicago to promote Marlon, as well as his Netflix film, Naked, Marlon Wayans sat down for a quick conversation on his preparing for both projects, being able to balance multiple tasks and more.
A post shared by Marlon Wayans (@marlonwayans) on
How did you prepare the content for what you will be bringing to TV with Marlon?
Marlon Wayans: Life prepared me for it. Having children, having a long term relationship, having a breakup, getting cursed out for six months, it teaches you a lot and then having to co-parent and finding that it’s not about the boyfriend/girlfriend, I love you like family. I literally care about your well-being. I care about you smiling today. Let’s remove vagina out the situation, once that goes away and you have two people that just have to connect because it’s two other people who are looking at that connection with as well. When you have a friendship with a person for a long, long time, why risk everything.
How did you balance being on the road for stand up and preparing that routine, creating Marlon, creating Naked for Netflix and regular life?
Marlon Wayans: I’m a crazy man. I have ADD and having all those different things to do actually kept me sane. I think kids with ADD people need to stop looking at them like it’s a disease. It’s not, it’s a gift. People need to approach it as a gift and not put them on weird drugs and medicines that stop these kids from being uber creative. I love it. I get tired sometimes but I wake up inspired every day. My dad, he had a hard job – work at places you hate to feed ten children. I’m doing what I love and I’m going to always feed into it.
Did you have any fears in showing elements of your own life in the show?
Marlon Wayans: No, I’m an open book. As a comedian, I stay an open book. I often take my worst experience and talk about it on stage. As a comedian you have to be cool, you have to open your heart, let people in, people have to understand that you are human and you bleed too. I had no fears about that, now I did have fears about what my kid’s momma going to think [laughs]. she’s fine, she’s seen all the episodes and she’s like it’s a really good show. She would tell me if it’s bad.
How do you decide which pieces of your family life make the show?
Marlon Wayans: Everything goes in. My son last year was in the hospital for a month and a half, two months, all summer for a bone infection. I had to stay in the hospital. I had to cancel the tour, I was supposed to go to Greece, I had to give up the house, I lost a lot of money. I was stuck in the hospital with my son and he was so sad. I asked him, “what you sad about?” He says “I can’t play basketball, I can’t do this, I can’t do that.” I said “listen, man, God did this, God did this.” He wanted to know why. I said “because you’re busy, I’m busy. Look at this, you’re about to be a man, you’re 14, we get this little time – we don’t know it could be a week, it could be three months, it could be a year – how lucky are we to sit in the same spot and be roommates. So this is what we are going to do, we are going to take today and make this the best experience of your life and mine.” I made it a party for him. I snuck in a Xbox, I had his boys come, I brought him a brand new TV and his mother was so annoyed like don’t you take anything serious. I’m like no, that’s what you do. So basically everything that happened I wrote it down, put it in my phone. I took it to my producer and said here’s an episode and then we did an episode about it.
Marlon airs on Wednesday, 9/8c on NBC.
Naked can now be viewed on Netflix.