Wayne Brady has made a name for himself through his improvisational comedy on the hit ABC series “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” But his career plans are anything but improvised. Of course, options have a way of presenting themselves when you have a prop box full of talent from which to draw.

He’s a proven talk-show host, having won Emmy awards as best talk-show host for two straight years with “The Wayne Brady Show.” However, this year’s presentation was tainted, having come after the announcement that his show had been canceled.

But Brady, a self-described “positive and optimistic person,” said “It’s nothing but sweet.”

In a recent telephone interview from his Hollywood home, he added, “I had a wonderful time doing the daytime show. I went into millions of people’s homes every day. The only down part was that the circumstances weren’t ideal. I didn’t have the complete backing of the parent company (Buena Vista Television) regardless of all the awards. (The show also took an Emmy for best talk-show in 2003). It was a blessing that it was canceled, because if you can’t do something right, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.

“Now,” he said, “it’s time to move on. I was an actor before and actor during, and it’s time to do some other things.”

Those other things include acting in a film that he identified only as “one of those really cool, big Hollywood projects.” He also will play the lead role of Billy Flynn in the Broadway production of “Chicago” Sept. 8 though Nov. 30.

He sings. He writes music. He produces. He likes to call himself an actor “who is a jack of all trades.”

The Orlando native did a lot of early work in Florida in television, dinner theater and other jobs.

“I tried to be the most versatile guy in the room,” he said, “because that was the only way to eat.”

However, he remains true to the art form that has made him famous: improvisation.

“You can teach improv skill set,” he said, “but you can’t teach someone to be funny. Some people think improv is supposed to be funny. Once you learn the skills, then you lay down your own natural funny.”

And, good news for those who plan to see Brady in any of his touring stage performances. The stage is where he loves to be.

“I am a live performer, no matter what else I do,” he said. “I’m a child of the stage. …No one is more truthful to you than a live audience.”


(c) 2004, The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, S.C.).

Visit the Sun News’ World Wide Web site, at http://web.thesunnews.com/

Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.


ARCHIVE PHOTOS on KRT Direct (from KRT Photo Service, 202-383-6099):

Wayne Brady

AP-NY-06-07-04 1026EDT

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.