Comedian Chaunté Wayans says she never wanted to meet rapper Jay-Z, despite being one of his biggest fans.
In an interview with veteran journalist Allison Kugel, Chaunté spoke about an opportunity to meet the Hip-Hop mogul and rap megastar and said she passed it up. Why? She doesn’t want to ruin the image of him in her head.
“I was a big fan, and I still am a big fan of Jay Z,” the funny woman said. “I had the opportunity to meet Jay Z and Beyonce when they first got together, through my Uncle Damon [Wayans]. However, from past interactions I’ve had, I said, ‘I don’t want to meet him, because if he’s an A-hole then…’ You know what I mean? I want to see him like I can never touch him.”
Growing up, Wayans allowed the 40-year-old to meet tons of famous people … some of them right in her own family. Navigating the fame, as a child in this family, where her aunts and uncles, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Damon Wayans, Sr., Kim Wayans, Shawn Wayans, and Marlon Wayans, are basically Hollywood royalty, was challenging especially when it came down to normal family stuff like going to weddings, baptisms, or funerals.
Photographers and fans seemed to lurk at every turn.
“One of my great aunts passed away,” she remembered in the interview. “My Uncle Marlon [Wayans] and I just finished this show, and we get off the plane and we get to the funeral, and there are two dudes standing outside in their shorts holding pictures and things for [my family] to sign.”
“We have no idea who these people are, she continued “But they are here getting autographs at our great aunt’s funeral. We go into the funeral, and you would think seeing all these older church lady types that they would know nothing about technology.”
Chaunté finished telling the story, recalling, “Towards the end of the funeral, every old person in there pulls out their phone to do Snapchat and selfies with my family. Mind you, they were so involved with taking pictures of my family that they left my dead great aunt in the funeral home, while we are all crying. These are the things that happen. That is why you have to start to pay attention to certain things (laughing), because that is how you find comedy.”
Finding the comedy in everyday things is apparently a Wayans trademark. She told the journalist her uncle taught her how to write jokes.
She said, “When I started doing comedy, I went to Shawn (Wayans) first. I was on tour with Shawn, and he sat me down to show me how to develop a joke, and we watched certain specials together. Or at 3 am I would call one of them and say, ‘I did this joke, and I don’t know how it worked.’”
“There was a structure to writing jokes, and they were all very supportive and always answered the phone. The structure comes from them saying, ‘keep going.’ If my family thinks something is funny, you will hear ten minutes of them trying to give you jokes off of what you just said, to the point where you’re like, ‘Hey man, hold on and let me go get a recorder (laugh) or let me write some of this down.’ The Wayans formula is, once you get a joke in, they can’t stop going with it. That’s the real formula.”
Family is clearly everything to the young comedian. From playing baseball on the Fourth of July to remembering times when everyone was spry enough to play baseball and dodgeball, she beams when talking about the love they have for each other.
It is out of that love and because of the legacy she says she wants to create a project for her famous family before everyone hangs up performing.
She says on the interview, “Funny thing is, I’m working on something right now where I would love my aunt Kim [Wayans] to be my actual aunt on the show. There are a few things I’m always keeping them in mind for. I also feel like they have all done so much that sometimes I think, ‘I hope I get them while they are still in this business.’”
If she pulls that off, she doesn’t have to worry about whether or not she would want to meet Jay-Z. Jay-Z will want to meet her.