Wayne Brady, best known for his quick wit and Emmy-winning performances on the improv comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway, fielded questions on Reddit’s Ask Me Anything forum Tuesday afternoon.
Unlike his famous Chappelle’s Show sketch, which spoofed his clean-cut image, the comedian was largely polite and workmanlike. He thanked redditors for their anecdotes of meeting him in person, talked about the mechanics of improv, and claimed that many big comedic media personalities are calm offstage.
Any stories you can share from your appearance on “Chappelle’s Show”? (bopapocolypse)
The Chapelle Show idea came from Dave calling me up at my show and saying that he was a fan and wanted to do a sketch for his last show. I’d run into a couple of his writers and maybe I said that i thought that the Paul Mooney joke was stupid. So, I get this call and the next thing I know we’re shooting this classic sketch. He and his writing partner came up with the training day thing and I did the part where the cop gets it.
Follow up, do you feel resentment that out of all your work, your “Chappelle Show” sketch is one that you are very popular for? (Mr_Alex)
People like what they like and it was a great sketch. It depends on where I go and who I meet, people have different things of mine they like. It’s cool to have such diverse work behind me. I only resent having that quote shouted at me when I’m in the men’s bathroom.
Did you have any sort of backlash from the more “family oriented” fans of yours after you did the Dave Chappelle skits? (Gabe_Dooders)
Nope. I think a lot of people get that its possible to have more than just one dimension.
During the “Whose Line” days, it seemed like you, Ryan and Colin all had really great chemistry. Were you three friends outside of the show? (CycroStarcraft)
I met everyone once I started doing the show. The other guys knew each other and worked together a lot but I was the new kid. The thing about being on Wliia was that it was always fresh because we didn’t hang out, so the taping was a cool party. I think some people love the notion that we worked together and then went home to our four tier bunk bed to have improvised pillow fights.
If you could ride one animal into battle what would it be? (djangoroo)
A unicorn with an undersized horn so it had to compensate for it in battle.
Who is the funniest performer off camera you know? (NinjaDiscoJesus)
The odd thing is, most of the drop dead funny people I know on camera are really quiet off camera. You’d never know Robin Williams or Drew was in the room if you didn’t talk [to] them. I think stage is a way for the shy nerds to let it out. Same for me.
1) When people think of improv, the very first thing that they think of is [“Whose Line Is It Anyway.”] Do you think it acts as a good representation of what improv is?
2) Why do you think improv hasn’t become as ‘mainstream’ as standup? (TheOtherCumKing )
Wliia is a representation of comedic improv at a top level but not the skill buidling acting exercise. It is an acting tool to be honest and a great skill to develop. Its hard for people to become known for just improv i think because of the lack of predictability. Networks wont take a chance on it, and frankly most people aren’t good at it. The people who are have it in their back pocket like a lot of the SNL guys, The Jane Lynches of the world, and other improv specific shows do get acclaim from it.
Why do white people love you? (Marashio)
i think in this business all you can ask for is for people in general to like what you do, thats how you stick around. I’ve always found the white people liking me thing, pretty ignorant to be totally honest. Funny is funny and you like what you like, but take the race thing out of it.
What’s the best improv tip you could offer for all of us here that wish we could be funny/witty on the fly? (aboondocksaint)
The best thing I can say is don’t try too hard. If the opportunity is there, it’ll be easy. No one likes the tool who tries to out funny everyone 24-7. and read a lot. Just having a ton of trivia and literary references makes you better armed.
Photo via @waynebrady/Twitter