Marlon Wayans Apollo Theater Good Grief stand up mother

Source: Shareif Ziyadat / Getty

Longtime Hollywood vet and comedian Marlon Wayans vulnerably opened up about grief after losing an unimaginably large amount of loved ones throughout the last three years. 

During a Nov. 10 guest appearance on The Breakfast Club, the well-known Wayans brother discussed his latest stand-up comedy show, Good Grief, and how the latter followed the deaths of 57 important people in his life within the last three years. The beloved deceased the comedian mentioned included his parents, Elvira and Howell Wayans, and comedian John Witherspoon.

Marlon said a part of his healing process was making people smile through joking about what he was “hurting with.” He added that creating comedy about grief was his way of letting people know they could heal too from the painful emotion.

The White Chicks actor said Good Grief was about dealing with the feeling and coming out on the other side of it. Speaking about the heartache and intensity of losing so many loved ones, he said, “I’ve been through it. I’ve been at rock bottom, I’ve been in darkness, I’ve been in dark times. People don’t know what I’ve been feeling. They don’t know the pain that I’ve been going through and what’s happening in my life ’cause I always find my smiles.”

“When you get laughs, it makes you come out of your own funk,” he explained before likening his audience to a therapist. 

“I’ve been staying on the stage for the past three years because every time they laugh, it feels like I’m getting oxygen,” the comedian added. “It lets me know I’m alive, it’s okay to laugh, and everything’s going to be okay.”

Regarding his stand-up special, Marlon highlighted the significance of Good Grief‘s filming at the iconic Apollo Theater in Harlem on Nov. 11. 

The comedian said the special was dedicated to his parents, who both had roots in the uptown New York City borough. He added that the Apollo Theater was a particularly fitting venue as his mother, Elvira, performed there three times with her sisters and won twice. 

“I wanted to return to the greatest stage in the greatest city that raised the two greatest I people know. And [I wanted to] do my best show and dedicate it to them in their memory,” Marlon emphasized. 


On Instagram Nov. 12, the longtime star reflected on selling out the two taped shows for Good Grief‘s filming and receiving standing ovations from both crowds. 

The comedian said he knew his mother was looking down on him from heaven and giving him props for the shows’ success. 

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