The ''Whose Line'' song-and-dance man steps into his own variety show

By Dan Snierson
Updated August 06, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
Wayne Brady: Craig Sjodin

He sings! He acts! He dances! He builds weapons of mass destruction out of paper clips and vinegar! All right, we totally made that last one up. But you get the point: Wayne Brady — the 29-year-old star of ”Whose Line Is It Anyway?” — is a man of many talents. As a result, ABC gave him his very own variety series, ”The Wayne Brady Show,” which debuted Aug. 8. On the eve of the big day, EW challenged him with a wacktastic Q&A.

You’ve jokingly referred to yourself as ”the black guy on ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway’?” Did that not have quite the same ring to it as ”The Wayne Brady Show”?
Yeah, it didn’t fit well on the T-shirts. And ”The Wayne Brady Show” made more sense than ”Hey, It’s Carol Burnett Again”!

In the pilot of your new show, your fictional boy band performs ”(Dude) Your Mom Is Hot,” which includes the lyric, ”I didn’t want to say it/But my hormones made me/Got the face of June Cleaver and the ass of Mrs. Brady.” I ask: Was Mrs. Brady’s booty all that?
Actually, if you look at episode 201, you would see that the posterior of Carol Brady is prominently displayed…. And in the new version of ”(Dude) Your Mom Is Hot,” now it says Carol Brady, just so folks would know that it was Carol Brady and not my mom. Because then ”(Dude) Your Mom Is Hot” takes on a really Southern feel.

If you could enact any piece of legislation in Hollywood and call it the Brady Bill, what would it be?
I would place a ban on wacky neighbors in sitcoms. In fact, all the wacky neighbors ought to have their own neighborhood where there is no lead — it’s just them. And then we’ll give the wacky neighbors a wacky neighbor and let them see how it feels.

What are three adjectives you’d use to describe yourself that could also be applied to, say, a cheese omelette?

So, Mr. Singer-Dancer-Actor-Comedian, isn’t there anything you simply suck at?
I couldn’t tell a real joke to save my life. I’m not a comedian, really. I try, but I’d make you go to sleep if I actually told a joke. ”Knock, knock!” ”Who’s there?” ”Crap.” Because that’s what my jokes are…. What else do I suck at? I suck at checkers.

Let’s do a little role reversal: How about you ask me a really stupid question.
Okay — why do you want to be like Wayne Brady so much?

That’s a good one. Ummm…because you’re the coolest?
I will accept that.