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By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski | February 8, 2021

Marlon Wayans of the first family of comedy says he’s lost “so much” since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last summer, Elvira Wayans — the mother of 10 children, including Damon Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans and Keenan Ivory Wayans — died at age 81.

His mom’s death and the pandemic taught him to enjoy life and the simple things. He says on Twitter that “where I had ignorance, I now have wisdom. Where I had physical mentors, I now have spiritual protection.”

“What I liked about us having the quarantine is we learned simplicity,” he says.

“We are special for what we’re enduring,” says Wayans, who shares a birthday with his mother. “I’m proud of every person. We’ve persevered. We need to appreciate the simplicity of a smile. We need to learn our kids more. I cook for my kids. They said I cook better than mom.”

Wayans comes to Phoenix to perform six socially distanced shows at Stand-Up Live from Thursday, February 11, to Sunday, February 14. He says fans can expect “the unexpected.”

“I’m going to go out there and have some fun doing what I do,” says Wayans, who is preparing a romantic/action/buddy comedy he sold to Netflix.

“It drives you a little bit crazy, playing a first show back. The first shows are a little bit nerve-wracking. The first night I’ve gotten so nervous that I didn’t remember the set. But I’ve freestyled a lot and I’ve done it enough that I trust my instincts.”

His material will include bits about his kids growing up and about his life in general.

“My kids dig it when I talk about them,” Wayans says about his children, who are 18 and 20. “I told them don’t do nothing stupid because I’ll talk about it. Hopefully they keep doing stupid stuff. I share every embarrassing story I can possibly think of. My greatest job is being a father.”

Marlon Wayans

When: 8 p.m. Thursday, February 11; 7 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Friday, February 12; 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, February 13; and 6 p.m. Sunday, February 14

Where: Stand Up Live, 50 W. Jefferson Street, Phoenix

Cost: $35 and $45

Info: 480-719-6100,