Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wayans Is First Up for Star Comedy Cavalcade; Cho, Carey, Carlos and Cedric to Provide Some Standout Standup

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wayans Is First Up for Star Comedy Cavalcade; Cho, Carey, Carlos and Cedric to Provide Some Standout Standup

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Szaroleta

It's shaping up to be a pretty funny summer in Northeast Florida. Fans of standup comedy can choose between up-and-comers and some pretty big names - Drew Carey, Margaret Cho, Carlos Mencia, Cedric the Entertainer. Tommy Davidson and Keenen Ivory Wayans all have shows booked in the Jacksonville area over the next few months.

Wayans, who performs Friday and Saturday night at the Comedy Zone, spends more time writing and directing big Hollywood movies than he does working the stage. The man who created "In Living Color," co-wrote "Eddie Murphy: Raw" and directed "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka," "Scary Movie" and "White Chicks" said he gets many of his best ideas for movies from his standup shows. He said he keeps a raggedy black notebook of what works and doesn't work on stage, and it comes in handy sometimes. "Every time that we write a movie and get stuck, I pull my book out."

He said he doesn't spend as much time as he used to onstage, but it's something he loves to do. "It's my roots, it's where I started, something I did for a long time," Wayans said.

"Then once the directing thing started to really take off I backed away from it. But I've always gone to clubs and done sets and things like that. This is the first time in a long time that I've sort of gone around the country doing it."

He and his brothers, Marlon, Shawn and Damon, are planning a big arena tour next year, so he's spending part of this summer hitting the clubs to work on his material. And there's no substitute for a live crowd when it comes to honing your act, he said.

"I like the intimacy, I like to connect with the fans on that level, I like the instant gratification of standup," Wayans said. "It tunes you up as a comedic artist. There's no better way to get your chops right than doing standup."

He said anyone who wants to get into the comedy business - even if it's writing or directing instead of performing - should hit the clubs. …

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