‘Comedy Is The Mask of Pain:’ The Wayans Get Serious During ‘Oprah’s Next Chapter’ Interview

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While many expected The Wayans family’s interview on “Oprah’s Next Chapter” to be all laughter and giggles, there were actually many serious and thought-provoking moments that came when least expected. One moment came when Keenen Ivory Wayans expressed that over the years, he’s learned that comedy is often used to disguise pain.

“I think that what people don’t understand is that comedy is the mask of pain. So people who are innately funny, are innately disturbed. Seriously that’s what it’s a mask for,” the “Living Color” creator expressed.

Of course, his comedic brothers and sister hysterically interjected, somewhat lightening the serious moment.

“I just meant that the art of comedy, it comes from the ability to take your pain and translate it into a funny presentation,” Keenen continued.


You know what they say about the funniest guy in the room; often times, he is also the saddest.

Click to the next page for another serious moment from the interview.

Keenan also revealed that he found inspiration for “In Living Color” in the unemployment and underexposure of the talented comedians around him.

“What it was, was an opportunity to for me… when I sat with Fox and they said ‘You can do anything you want to do,’ what went off in my head was, ‘I know all of these incredibly talented people that no one is hiring. No one is hiring any of these people and now is the chance for us to like do what we do.’ [People like] Jim Carrey, David Allan Grier, and my brother Damon was like this comic genius that was tearing it up on the club circuit, but they didn’t know. Damon had gotten fired off of “Saturday Night Live.” So it was just an opportunity for me to bring all of these people together and it was that collective that made it as exciting as it was.”


Hit the next page to hear the Wayans discuss embellishing their life stories for the sake of comedy.

The “Second Generation Wayans” stars also got the opportunity to discuss what it’s like including portions of their real lives into the show’s storyline.

“It was kind of difficult because I had a lot going on in my life that I didn’t necessarily want to bring to the screen, but we found an angle for it,” said Craig.



Keenen, who seemed to have his share of serious moments during the interview, also discussed a life-changing epiphany that he experienced.

While poverty had a major impact on the older generation of Wayans, and even a few of the second generation Wayans, Damon Wayans Jr. wasn’t shy about discussing his privileged upbringing.

Did you check out their interview? What did you think of it?

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