‘Oprah’s Next Chapter’: Inside the Wayans Comedy Dynasty

by | March 3, 2013 at 12:34 PM | Black Entertainment, Oprah's Next Chapter, TV News

Oprah Winfrey with Keenen Ivory Wayans (left) and his brother Marlon on "Oprah's Next Chapter" (Photo: OWN)

Oprah Winfrey came face to face with seven members of the Wayans family and, understandably, she struggled to maintain a straight face.

The Wayanses who Oprah collected in one place for a group interview were: Siblings Keenen Ivory Wayans, 54, Kim Wayans, 51, Shawn Wayans, 42, and Marlon Wayans, 40; and “second generation” Wayanses Damien Dante Wayans, 32, Damon Wayans Jr., 30, and Craig Wayans (age unavailable).

Missing from the group (for reasons unknown): Damon Wayans, 52, who starred with sibs Keenen, Kim, Shawn and Marlon on “In Living Color” on Fox in the early ’90s (along with Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, David Alan Grier and others).

The results of this sprawling face-to-face meeting can be seen Sunday night (March 3) on “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” 9 p.m. (8c) on OWN. Among the subjects the group covered were family, “In Living Color” and the art of comedy.

As the eldest in the group interviewed by Oprah, and the one credited most with creating “In Living Color,” Keenen seemed to do the lion’s share of the talking when the family visited with Oprah.

Oprah asked him how “In Living Color” came to be. And Keenen answered that it was really about artistic freedom — which Fox granted him when they agreed to take on the show — and some very talented people who happened to be available, including Carrey, Grier and Keenen’s brother, Damon.

Click on the pic to see what Keenen had to say about the origins of “In Living Color”:

Keenen was eloquent on the subject of comedy too. He repeated something that we’ve heard many comedians say over the years — that their comedy, or their ability to look at the world from a cockeyed perspective, has its origins in personal pain. “I think what people don’t understand is that comedy is a mask for pain,” Keenen said. “People who are innately funny are innately disturbed.” He wasn’t kidding when he said that.

Click on the pic to see what Keenen said about the essence of comedy:

“Oprah’s Next Chapter” with the Wayans family airs Sunday (March 3) at 9 p.m. (8c) on OWN.

Here’s a special treat: A classic “Mr. Rogers” sketch on “In Living Color”: