A familiar name graces the marquee at the Dayton Funny Bone this weekend as Chaunté Wayans is headlining Oct. 28-29.
She is a member of the famous Wayans comedy family that includes Keenan Ivory Wayans, Damon Wayans and Marlon Wayans to name a few. She was introduced to show business at a young age and has been performing stand-up comedy for 20-plus years.
“It fell into my lap,” said Wayans, 40. “I went to a comedy show and saw my cousin at an open mic. I got this little bug and wrote out two jokes. I went back the next night. That was an outbreak for me. I have a voice and they can’t interrupt.”
While many of her uncles and cousins also perform stand-up, Wayans has a voice that is all her own because of her age. She said that her tour centers around the idea about seeing things differently.
“I’ll play on the tour name,” she said. “A different generation. I’m in-between, open and honest. I like to say things that people probably think but are afraid to say. (I say) the truth and it can be brutal.”
Wayans started out as a production assistant after to moving to California from Manhattan. She’s worked as a comedian and actress on MTV’s hit show “Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out” and was also featured on TLC’s “Trading Spaces.”
Although part of a famous family, Wayans admits she comes from a poor background. It wasn’t until she moved to California that her life took a different turn. She said her entire family has the “brain of the entertainment industry.”
“I love to create with myself or with different people,” she said. “Creating and being able to see someone’s vision and bring it to life. I advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and mental health. I’m passionate about loving the world and finding a way to not be angry.”
Wayans has a YouTube page where she posts videos of her talking with her fellow stand-up comedian family members as well as a series called “Drive By Jokes.” She picks up her friends and fellow comics and force them to make jokes about what they see while they drive. The idea was born from the pandemic.
“It was hard to do shows online,” she said. “The material wasn’t working. I wanted to figure out what I can create without needing a lot of people. This was a great way to have fun and include the audience.”
Wayans has a special in the works but says stand-up is a passion that will always be a part of her life.
“I like performing,” she said. “Some of the stuff I talk about might be heavy. I just love to create a relatable world for people or an unrelatable world and bring people into it.”
HOW TO GO
What: Chaunté Wayans
Where: Dayton Funny Bone, 88 Plum St., Suite 200, Beavercreek
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: Visit dayton.funnybone.com or call the Box Office at 937-429-5233