Multi-hyphenate Wayne Brady comes to the Clay Center on Sunday. The actor/comedian/singer is well known for his improvisational skills on stage, which will be on full display during the performance.
WANT TO GO?
WHERE: Clay Center
WHEN: 8 p.m. Sunday
TICKETS: $25, $35 and $45
INFO: 304-561-3570 or www.theclaycenter.org
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- There's not a lot that Wayne Brady
won't make a joke out of, but the actor/comedian/singer/TV host has a couple of limits.
Brady, who performs Sunday night at the Clay Center, said, "My mama always told me not to talk about politics or religion at the dinner table."
And so he tends to stay away from that -- unless it's the big topic of the day and he'd look ridiculous if he didn't say something about it.
"I happen to have strong political views," Brady said, "but I keep them to myself. I leave it to Lewis Black
and Jon Stewart
Also, Brady said, he doesn't do jokes about kids -- not anymore. He still hasn't quite lived down a joke about Trig Palin he made in August during the "Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne Barr."
The joke was a shot at comic Jeff Ross, comparing him to Palin's son. He later apologized for the joke, but Brady still regrets ever saying it.
"The one time I made a foray into that world [of jokes about kids], I made a stupid joke that was given to me [by a writer] about a child, and it wasn't even about the child. The child was used to set up the butt of the joke, but I kicked myself the second it came out of my mouth.
"That will never, ever happen again. I don't do that."
But he might talk about reality sensation/trainwreck Honey Boo Boo. Brady groaned and said that he might do that.
He said, "Sure, I'll talk about Honey Boo Boo, but I won't go in on Honey Boo Boo because, at the end of the day, she's a child."
Then, he quickly added, "Now, I'll talk about Honey Boo Boo's mama."
Whether he'll talk about her on Sunday or not, he's not sure. He's not sure what he'll talk about at all when he gets to the Clay Center.
Brady's preferred brand of comedy is improvisation. He's not working on little bits and jokes all the time. His act gets made fresh daily.
"It's just myself, a microphone and my keyboardist," Brady said.
On any given night, the show could go anywhere, but he said it typically starts with a little demonstration of his abilities.
Brady takes a collection of random words from the audience, and then puts them up on a board.
"You can make them as hard as you want, as nonsensical as you want," he said.
Then he turns the words into a freestyle rap that tells a story using names from the audience.
Brady said, "So right off the top, you know this is what we're doing."
Brady doesn't like being labeled or defined by others. He tends to think of himself in terms of hyphens. Brady isn't an actor, comedian, singer or improvisational comic. He's an actor-comedian-singer-improvisationalist.
But that's just a job title, something he does to make a living.
However, he outright hates being referred to as "a game show host." He bristles at the words, even though he is in his fourth season as the host of "Let's Make A Deal."
"When I think of a game show host, I think of some cheesy guy with a long microphone whose hair is impeccably coiffed and talks in a overly broad voice."
Brady doesn't do that. He hosts a game show that's really not a game show.
"We've turned it in to a game/improv/music/sketch hybrid," he said, although he acknowledges that some people do tune in for the spectacle of seeing people try to win cash and prizes.
Others, he believes, just come for the reliable laughs and general madcap fun.
"I'm not over-hyping it," he said, "but in my experience, it's a little more than a typical game show."
Reach Bill Lynch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5195.