Between the 1990s and early 2000s, a plethora of classic Black sitcoms aired on our television screens regularly. We had The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Martin, Moesha, A Different World, Living Single, The Parkers, Family Matters, The Jamie Foxx Show, Roc, The Steve Harvey Show, Kenan & Kel, and Sister, Sister (just to name a few.)
Shawn and Marlon Wayans were also on that list of newcomers with their hit show, The Wayans Bros, which starred the late John Witherspoon. Shawn and Marlon expected to be welcomed considering that they were on the rise and came from a legendary family. “Me and Shawn came out on a brand new network,” Marlon shared during a recent interview with Strong Black Lead. “We launched the WB. We were two young black men that created a show. I was 20 and Shawn was like, 22. You would think we’d get all this support…and we got hammered. Everybody hated us. Cosby hated us.” Marlon joked, “Him in jail right now? That was my prayer. That’s what you get for hating Wayans Bros.”
“Here’s the thing, we are physical comedians,” Marlon explained. “And we speak from blue-collar. I was born and raised in the projects of New York City. Not everybody wants to taste that bitter fruit of truth. That’s my perspective. This is my life. So, our show was about two men struggling to make it. [The Cosby Show] was about ‘I made it. I am a doctor. I have my lovely family, my precious son and my three beautiful daughters’ and it was the perfect life. We was the opposite.” He boldly proclaimed that Wayans Bros. was the “anti-Cosby Show.”
Click here to listen to Marlon Wayans’s full interview on Strong Black Lead.