Marlon Wayans Shares Throwback Photo with Brother Shawn as He Pays Tribute to 'The Wayans Bros' 25th Anniversary
Marlon Wayans wrote a heartfelt tribute to "The Wayans Bros" on its 25th anniversary highlighting the milestones of the show and the things he and his brother Shawn Wayans fought for.
It’s been 25 years since Marlon Wayans and his brother Shawn Wayans starred in their sitcom, “The Wayans Bros.” Marlon admits, in paying tribute to the show recently that in many ways, the classic show opened many doors for Black television.
A SHOW OF MANY MILESTONES
Marlon took to his Instagram this week to write about his fondness for the show that premiered in January 1995 and ran until 1999. According to the comedian, though the show was often criticized, it marked many milestones not many people were aware of.
“I’m proud of this show, proud of our struggle, proud it wasn’t easy,” Marlon writes.
For one thing, the actor says the show was responsible for launching the WB network and it went on to make bigger waves than the hit NBC sitcom, “Friends,” especially in Atlanta. He also reveals he and his brother fought for many things on the show, some of which involved finding a place for young Black writers and Black women.
ON FIGHTING FOR AN IMPORTANT CAST MEMBER
Marlon didn’t fail to mention that one significant element of the show the brothers fought for was casting the late John Witherspoon as their father. Shawn first revealed this trivia during John’s funeral. He said that prior to WB, NBC first showed interest in taking on the brothers’ show but when they didn’t agree on casting Witherspoon at the brothers’ request, the show went to WB which agreed.
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John T Boys Boy Witherspoon. Man I cried myself to sleep last night just thinking about how much I’m going to miss you. You are one of the funniest, coolest, wisest dudes I ever met and joy to work with. Thank you for all of the laughs and wisdom you shared with me and my brother throughout the years and also for helping us keep our cool during the Wayans Bros as we fought to make that show what it is. I’m gonna miss our conversations every year about our Favorite holiday Christmas and hearing you sing Johnny Mathis songs and even some of your own ditty’s like MONEY BEING MADE 😂😂AROUND HERE And WHEN MY LOVE GOES BANG BANG BANG 😂 or when you would gather me you and Marlon in a really tight circle and say our favorite line from Wayans Bros “NOW MARLON AINT NOBODY GONNA SPEND A THOUSAND DOLLARS AN HOUR TO LOOk 👀 AT YOUUUUUU” RIP Pops I’m sure gonna miss you. Love you man
A CLASSIC TO BE PROUD OF
In his 25th anniversary tribute, Marlon further shares the memorable aspects of their show including the sneakers they wore, their jokes, and music. According to BET, it was the first show to use a classic hip-hop track as its theme song.
“I’m proud of this show, proud of our struggle, proud it wasn’t easy,” Marlon writes. “What some call trash others call “classics”. We never did our show for stars, or tomatoes or for statues or props we did it to express ourselves and make people laugh. 25 years later we still doing that…”
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25 years ago 2 young African American brothers 20 & 22 years old that created as executive produces a show that was critically-panned and often criticized. We launched the WB network and went on to become a hit show in several markets. In Atlanta our numbers were bigger than FRIENDS on NBC. We fought like hell for our vision, for our fashion, for our slang, for our jokes, for our culture, for our writers, for programs that would offer opportunities for young black writers WGA trainee program, we fought for our friends, we fought for a multicultural staff of people, we fought for minority females to hold key positions like hair and make up and costuming and producers and exec producers, we fought for minority directors like tony singleton, gerren kieth, Ted Lang, @glynn_turman for our music, for our guest stars from the hip hop & RNB culture. We fought for our flavor, fought for our stories and most of all fought for our Pops @johnnywitherspoon to be our dad on our show. 25 years we have a classic that is embraced by the youth culture. The sneakers we wore on the show back then are considered to be classics. The music, the fashion, the stories and the jokes are all loved and embraced. WAYANS BROS despite all odds against it survived five seasons and is now considered a classic. I’m proud of this show, proud of our struggle, proud it wasn’t easy. It’s not about what they say about you. That’s a subjective opinion based on ignorance of a culture. To all the young people out there trying to insurmountable things be brave, be fearless and most all be you. What some hate on@today they’ll be forced to eat third hateful words when you are successful. What some call trash others call “classics”. We never did our show for stars, or tomatoes or for statues or props we did it to express ourselves and make people laugh. 25 years later we still doing that... Love you @therealdjsw1 and @johnnywitherspoon RIP. #wayansbros #forlifeandafterlife #classic
“The Wayans Bros” ended without a final episode, something the brothers joked about after. But in spite of the lack of fanfare, Shawn and Marlon’s career took off after. They became major players in Hollywood appearing in box-office films such as the “Scary Movie” franchise, “White Chicks,” and “Little Man.”
The brothers were only in their early 20’s when they created and executive produced “The Wayans Bros.” Today, they are bankable comedians who continue to hone their crafts on stage, on television, and on film. As for Marlon, in paying tribute to the show last year, he said he’s just glad people are still laughing.