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How Marlon Wayans Found Light And Inspiration During His Son's Hospital Stay

The comedian and actor revealed how his son's hospital stay last summer brought them closer together and inspired a moment in his new series. 


Marlon Wayans has spent decades making us laugh in hit shows and films like In Living Color, Scary Movie, and The Wayans Bros., which he starred in with his brother Shawn Wayans. Now, Marlon’s back with a new, perfectly named sitcom, Marlon.

Stopping by the ESSENCE podcast, Yes, Girl!, Wayans dished on the upcoming series, which pulls inspiration from the actor and comedian’s real life, the highs and lows, even somber family situations.

Recalling his son’s stay in the hospital last summer, Wayans revealed that he found light and inspiration in an incredibly difficult situation.

“My son was in the hospital and all I could think was, ‘What’s funny about this?'” Wayans said. The comedian reflected on witnessing his wife and daughter cry as his son began to feel depressed and anxious, “Angie’s crying, Amai is crying, and then my son starts getting nervous because they’re nervous.”

Realizing that he had to find some light in the situation, Wayans explained to his son that God had just slowed them down to show how important it was to focus on the significant things in life. 

“I told him, ‘God slowed you up and he slowed me up because you, at 14-years-old, you’re about to be a man, for me and you to have this moment,'” Wayans told ESSENCE. “I said ‘You’re not going to be sad because every day in here is going to be like a party.'”

So, Wayans spent quality time with his son playing XBox games on a flat screen TV he smuggled into the hospital. “I loaded the games, which took me forever because I don’t know how they load these games. I’m like, don’t they have a cartridge?!”

After joking that his wife snitched on him to the nurse about the smuggled TV, Wayans got approval on the contraband item, and he and his son bonded over old comedies and had fun. “I introduced him to old school stuff like Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy and the kind of comedy I grew up on and we had a blast.”

Inspired, Wayans wrote an episode around the situation, adding, “My life…I’m an open book. As flawed as I may be I know that I have a great heart.”


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