Damon Wayans: The Last Stand?
An integral part of the Wayans brain trust that oversees In Living Color, this Wayans is also a coolly relaxed stand-up comic. The Last Stand? refers to Wayans’ assertions here that he may never do his stand-up act again — he’s apparently tired of the grinding repetition of it all. It is to his credit, therefore, that Wayans never seems bored for a second, breezing through his set as if chatting off the top of his head.
And the content of the chatter? What it’s like to be an African-American in the ’90s, extremely frank talk about everything from the 2 Live Crew (”’Me So Horny’? Why don’t they just have some (sex)? Then they wouldn’t be so horny, and their songs wouldn’t be so corny”) to child-rearing (Wayans is the father of three, and ”my wife is pregnant with another one — thank God it’s not mine”).
Some of his material verges on the misogynistic, and he’s startlingly direct about his distrust (dislike?) of ”white folks.” His mention of Richard Pryor as an influence doesn’t tell you half of it — close your eyes and there are times when Wayans becomes Pryor, his phrasing and timing are so similar. But Wayans also comes across as an interesting man in the process of figuring out his place in the world. In Living Color has taken a nosedive in quality this season, but based on his funniness here, that decline isn’t Damon’s fault. B+