This morning when we were combing through our emails we noticed something that we couldn’t believe; we got an email saying that Damon Wayans is officially retiring from stand up!
With that being said, Wayans is currently on tour, and while promoting that tour he spoke to The Desert Sun. With the reporter he made the major announcement in the following article;
Damon Wayans’ appearance Saturday at Spotlight 29 Casino may be his last West Coast standup performance, ever.
The writer and star of films such as “Major Payne” and “Last Action Hero,” and the classic TV sketch comedy series, “In Living Color” will travel to Palm Beach, Florida, next week and do three shows at the Improv in Tempe, Arizona, Dec. 10-11. Then he’s through.
Audiences have changed, he says. The tenor of the country is uglier and, at 55, he’s feeling too damn old to keep doing this.
“The traveling is killing me,” he says in a telephone interview from Los Angeles. “And I don’t like this climate. You’ve got to watch what you’re saying. It’s not standup as I know it. I can’t even explain how old I feel talking to college kids about any subject other than pimples and sex. They can’t relate to it.”
Wayans, who is from a family of 10 children, including four who went into comedy professionally, has four children and seven grandchildren. His son, Damon Jr., is a stand-up comic at age 32. So he’s learned some things about the younger generation, including millennials.
“They’re dumb!” he says with emphasis. “They text you that they love you. They don’t understand that love is an action word and it’s not socially acceptable to check your emails or answer texts while you’re in the middle of a conversation with your father. Grandkids are even worse. At airports, they’re looking down at their phones with their headphones plugged in, texting each other while floating around the airport still having a conversation.”
The man who once represented youthful street culture now looks at young people like they’re aliens.
“They have no world view,” he says. “They’re so open, they’ve accepted anything anyone does. There are churches for murderers. That’s OK with them. Murderers need to worship, too. I mean, who are these people? I think the cell phone has made people brain dead. They look down so much at their phones and they’re filming what they’ve seen. So they’re not really enjoying it because they’re filming it. My question is, do they go home and play it back and laugh? Is that when I get my laugh?”
Wayans caught some heat recently for not being critical of Bill Cosby.
When Wayans moved from New York to California in 1980, an instructor at the Groundlings improv school told him he’d never make it in comedy because he cursed too much and his act was “too street.” But Richard Pryor, the pioneer of street comedy, was peaking at the time and Wayans soaked up Pryor until he found his own original voice. And he says Pryor might not have made it if Cosby hadn’t paved the way.
“Richard learned from Cosby,” he says. “If you listen to Richard Pryor, he sounds like Bill Cosby.”
Wayans has made deprecating jokes about women who have accused Cosby of raping them up to 40 years ago. But he says he’s only withholding judgment on Cosby until he can form a more educated opinion on the allegations.
“This is opening a can of worms, but, as an artist, I have to appreciate the art,” he says. “As a human being, I wasn’t there. I don’t know. There are hundreds of millions of dollars on the table, (so) it’s hard to know who’s telling the truth. I think, until we get a conviction, everybody needs to let tempers die down and get to the truth. If it’s possible, get to the truth.
“I have daughters and I have sisters and granddaughters, a mother. If someone raped them, I would want to handle it myself. And I could live with myself after I did what I thought I needed to do. That’s my take on rape.”
Wayans doesn’t usually do topical humor because of its fleeting nature. But he blames the broad support of President Obama for the political correctness that has impaired his ability to talk to audiences – especially black audiences — from his own street perspective.
“Black people, black comedians, have a very protective allegiance to Obama,” he says. “They don’t want to be the ones to dog the first black president, so they’re not really speaking out on a lot of the things that went down. The audience is different. The temperament of the country is different. It don’t feel like you’re getting all the laughs you’re supposed to get for the right jokes. A lot of ‘ooohs’ and ‘Shut up!’”
He does think black comics will address the issues fermenting black unrest in communities like Ferguson and Baltimore after Obama leaves office. But, will he then return to the stand-up circuit?
“No,” he says. “I’m done. Maybe I’ll whisper some funny things in my son’s ear.
By: Bruce Fessier
Anyway, we will fill this under WE HOPE THIS ISN’T TRUE.