With a career beginning at a young age, Marlon Wayans has performed at many places. As the year continues he gets to add performing at Missouri Western to his list.
Widely-known comedian Wayans performed for the first time at Western on April 5 inside the Looney Complex. His act invited Western students, community members and faculty to attend the show.
The show was open to the public and there were VIP seating arrangements for students who brought in canned good items to the Center for Multicultural Education office prior to the show.
The Wayans performance was free for Western students with student ID and $5 for anyone else that attended. Due to the mature content of Wayans’ previous performances, the audience members were limited to 18 years of age and older.
Assistant Dean of Student Involvement Isaiah Collier helped bring Wayans to Western. He believes that students will understand the comedy performed.
“I think college-age students will relate very well,” Collier said. “I think he’s very modern, very hip, so I think they’ll find it very humorous. I think he’s used to performing and doing stand-up comedy clubs and arenas. He just recently got on the college and university circuit. I think with this different crowd he’ll cater to university students. I think it’ll be different overall.”
Collier said having Wayans perform on campus was a good experience for students who don’t normally participate in Western events.
“I think the students will leave with knowing that they had a great time and just happy that they actually took a chance and stepped out of their dorm rooms,” Collier said. “I think it’ll be a great opportunity not just to laugh but they’ll also be able to meet different people.”
Tai Fo Panda was the opening act for the Wayans performance.
Some students had issues with Wayans and Panda’s performance due to some controversial jokes.
Junior at Western Patricia Milfort attended the performance in hopes of enjoying time with her friends, what she left with was quite the opposite.
“I think Marlon’s performance was funny overall,” Milfort said. “He had the crowd in-tuned. I do think however that some of his jokes could have been left out. I think the opening act was very rude honestly; I didn’t like it at all. His commentary was not funny when he started making fun of disabled people. Things like that shouldn’t be laughed at.”
Octavia Riley said Wayans made an attending student in a wheelchair the focus of a joke and it didn’t feel right.
“I was in the very front and I honestly wanted to walk out after I watched the opening act,” Riley said. “He was being beyond rude about disabled people because he saw a girl in wheelchair. His whole act was about her. That just didn’t sit well with me.”
Although Riley did not enjoy the opening act, she was encouraged by Wayans words.
“I was so ready to leave but then Marlon comes and he was pretty funny,” Riley said. “He talked about his older siblings and the wisdom he learned from them. At the end of his act, he talked about never giving up and staying true to yourself. I feel like a lot of people needed to hear that, especially me.”
The Western Activities Council conducted a poll of comedians to perform at Western. The poll was sent to Western students and Wayans was the overall winner.