• Marlon Wayans Richard Pryor audition tape leaked. And Marlon is excellent. (Video)

    Marlon Wayans plays Richard PryorWith the Richard Pryor biopic in the works, and comedian Mike Epps chosen for the titular role, it’s a bit too late to recast. But, with newly released footage of Marlon Wayans’ audition tape from when Chris Rock was attached to work on the project, it’s not too late to have some second thoughts and mull over the possibilities and the could-have-beens.

    The footage, originally leaked by filmmaker Tambay Obenson on Vimeo, showcases Wayans’ intense and, frankly, pretty damn good rendition of the comedy legend in two powerful scenes. The first is a therapy session with Wayans playing off Omar Epps, with Pryor discussing his oft-talked about self-hate and his tumultuous relationships with the women that tried to curb it. The second, finds Pryor in his element, breaking down on the mic, where he would find the most comfort and acceptance.

    Overall, Wayans knocks it out of the park. His performance brings a desperate depth to the complex nature of a man with unfathomable natural talent that could only really be matched by his own troubled past and coping mechanisms that would often lead to his worst lows. Wayans plays Pryor with the wild-eyed sadness clashing with the lightning quick masterfully irreverent humor that typified the legend brushing off his very real hurt. It’s a hard persona to portray, but Wayans manages it.

    Generally, I’ve been of the same opinion as Rain Pryor, Richard Pryor’s daughter, in regards to the casting of Epps. Kind of whatever. Epps certainly has the comedy chops, with a career spanning the better part of two decades, and has been in movies, albeit primarily strict comedies. It is easy to confuse reverence with readiness, though one can’t fault a comedian for trying his best to do justice to the role of a lifetime.

    That being said, Wayans can play troubled. He can play drug-addled. He can play downright depressing. It seems a lot of people forget his excellent turn in Requiem For A Dream, an underrated role to say the least. And it goes without saying his comedy pedigree is just as valid (or more) than Epps’. For now, we’ll have to hold judgment for Epps’ performance and stare wistfully at this video of Marlon having a stellar run at playing the legend.

    Marlon Wayans – Richard Pryor Audition Footage from Tambay A Obenson on Vimeo.

    Sign up to get comedy videos and headlines delivered to your inbox!

    Be sure to subscribe to the weekly Laughspin Podcast on iTunes or on SoundCloud for all the latest comedy news, audio clips and more! Listen to the most recent episode below!

    Rodrigo Torrejon

    Rodrigo Torrejon is a journalist/writer technically based out of New Jersey, but a New York native on Tinder. He loves medium-rare steak, the outdoors, but most of all, comedy. He also writes and curates a music and culture blog at thisisson.blogspot.com.

    WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien