We’re brothers. We’re happy and we’re singing and we’re coloured. Da-da-daa-daaa. Give me a high-five!
If you grew up in the 1990s, then you’ll recognise those lines as the theme song to one of the best US sitcoms since Martin. That sitcom is, of course, none other than The Wayans Bros, which began airing on DStv’s Comedy Central every weekday at the beginning of the month. As the title suggests, the show centres on two brothers, Shawn and Marlon Wayans.
You may recognise Shawn and Marlon’s surname as comedic TV royalty. The two brothers started out as young guns on In Living Color, which was a sketch show that was conceptualised by the oldest Wayans brothers, Keenan and Damon. Then, when In Living Color bowed out in the mid-1990s, and before Damon gave us the hilarious My Wife and Kids in the Noughties, The Wayans Bros, pictured, was born. As you’ve probably guessed by now, the Bros’ names and the actors’ names are the same.
Shawn owns a news stand in a Harlem building. Moderately successful, he runs the stand with his kid brother, Marlon. They also live together. While they aren’t exactly the Huxtables, the brothers are thick as thieves and have a great relationship with their eccentric father, John – although it’s worth noting that no one really cares that his name is John. The character, which was played to perfection by the hilarious John Witherspoon, was simply and affectionately called Pops by everyone from his fictional children to the viewers.
The funny Pops, who was always prone to some ailment (especially ones that had to do with his bunions), owned a diner in the same building where Shawn had his news stand, and scenes usually took place between the eatery and the stand, as well as in Shawn and Marlon’s flat, also in Harlem.
The brothers tackle loyalty, finances, family and friendships on a daily basis, and if nostalgia serves me well, it was always funny. Or maybe that’s just my crush on Marlon rearing its childish head. What? He was gorgeous. It’s a pity that in 2013 Marlon looks like he raided Lenny Kravitz’s wardrobe. In, like, 2001. But I digress.
Later on in the series, the testosterone is diluted up by Dee, the building’s security guard, who is played by Anna Marie Horsford, whom you may remember as Thelma in the 1980s sitcom Amen.
She holds her own when it comes to the funnies and gives the boys someone to care about. If you’re familiar with the Wayans’ brand of comedy, then you’ll know that The Wayans Bros is one of the funniest shows ever to have hit the small screen. If not, sit back and enjoy!
• The Wayans Bros airs on DStv channel 122 from Monday to Friday at 8.05pm