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The unheard struggle of Wayne Brady

The unheard struggle of Wayne Brady

Chappelle's Show

Wayne Brady is famous for comedy, first on Whose Line is it Anyway? And then on Let’s Make a Deal. He’s the guy you’d love to invite over to your dinner. He is also one of the few comedians you’d feel completely comfortable having at the same dinner as your grandparents. That’s only a surface persona, and what’s going on underneath that is pretty different from the image he has cultivated.

He struggled with depression…

Entertainment Tonight

In 2014, Brady revealed to Entertainment Tonight his though. He said sometimes he doesn’t want to move because he thinks that’s what he deserves to be a terrible person.

For anyone who has struggled with depression, maybe those feelings can seem all too real. Brady had drawn a comparison between his persona when in front of the camera and what happens to him when not. He admitted that he had found himself caught in a steady, downward spiral that finally came on his 42nd birthday.  He said that he was there by himself, in his bedroom and he had a complete breakdown. And that birthday was the beginning of why he wants to make a change.

He also said that the suicide of Robin Williams in 2014 deeply impacted him. He told Entertainment Tonight that when Williams was on stage in full-on Robin mode, you could not touch that man. He made all these people and Brad, who is working with him at the time, feels great. But then Brady admits that all these praises are just what he made up in his mind. He knows that with all the money, fame, Robin will still in so much pain, this is the reason Robin committed suicide.

He also admitted how difficult it can be for men to open up on the subject

Bring Change 2

In 2015, Brady filmed a PSA for the Bring Change 2 Mind movement, which helps peoples understand about mental illness. In the incredibly candid video, he told us about the reasons that he hadn’t come forward about his illness sooner. And one of it is his gender, male, we also think it’s difficult for men in general, because of the way we grow up.  Brady said that male feel any of the negative emotions or that dark cloud settle on you. But when you feel like you need to express your emotions about it, the “no, I’m a man” step in.

He said that what kind of man he would sound like if he told somebody that he’s so sad, he felt empty and he needs help. Pause for a moment, then he said that he felt that he became as some sissy, peoples will talk bad about him. And he says it’s not peoples’ fault, that’s just what everyone taught, and that’s what kills us. Being a man is not just about biology, it’s about having the responsibility to the peoples that depend on you. All men every need is respect, so the fear of losing respect when showing their soft-part is inevitable.

Social anxiety gave him a stuttering problem

Whose Line is it Anyway

Being a comedian means a lot of the time you expected to depend on quick wit. It can help you catch the audients off-guard, thus making them laugh. Brady does not just use it, he mastered it on the improve show Whose Line is it Anyway? He is famous for delivering spur-of-the-moment lines. He is also a show favorite guy for his effortless ability to come up with songs about anything and any style. Factor in a live, studio audience and indeed it would seem he has always been perfectly comfortable in front of others.

It was quite a different story when he was younger, though. Speaking with NBC BLK, Brady revealed he went through a year-long phase about his social anxiety. It is easy for them in mind when they bullet him, it was so bad that he developed a stutter. He even said that he felt like he couldn’t speak, adding he got bullied because of skin color and heavy accent. He said that was the feeling of disrespect, everyone’s will laugh at anything he said, make him afraid to speak. He stuttered because all of the words welled up and he didn’t know which ones to use.

However, Brady added that his social anxiety wound up and become a blessing. In time, he developed an interest in performing speech and comedy. That is after he began to turn the words he couldn’t use at school into radio plays, scripts and more. Which is good for him, he can finally put all the emotions that he had been storing for so long into work.

He’s not afraid to call someone out

Barack Obama

Brady might be someone you’d image could play peacekeeper over the most hostile of family dinners, but that is not true. Brady will absolutely not afraid to call someone out for injustice in any form. For example, take his feud with Bill Maher. Over the years, Maher has repeatedly compared President Barack Obama to Wayne Brady, in a negative way. At one point quipping that Obama wasn’t actually a “real black president”, when Bill crossed the line. In 2013, Brady finally responded to Maher’s jokes on Aisha Tyler’s podcast, Girl on Guy. And his words specifically indicate that he will slap Bill in the street to see Bill’s reaction. Now, that’s not something you’ve ever seen or hear on Let’s Make a Deal.

The next year, when Maher made headlines for his controversial comments about Islam, Brady took him to task again. Brady referring to Maher as his uncle at the barbecue. Or his grandpa shows up with no pants on or something. With all of that, we can say that Brady seriously doesn’t like Maher and how he views things.

He’s not a fan of his squeaky-clean image


Brady has something of a squeaky-clean reputation, the kind of reputation that qualified for a job at Disney. And that, keeping his work on his most well-known shows something that skirts the lines between PG and PG-13. But he’s not a fan of that image, and don’t suggest to him that he’s really like that in real life.

In 2013, Brady told Arsenio Hall (via Huffington Post) that you know how it is, people place things on you. He said that he has never asked for anyone to give him a squeaky clean image. And that he does a lot of stuff at night, he does Vegas, and he does films that are adult. It annoys him so much when people think that he is a clean black guy. Also, Brady doesn’t like it because when you generalize it’s just so easy for folks to go, “That’s what you are”.

Brady even said that peoples don’t know him, so he wants peoples to stop acting as they do. And he said that what peoples see in a separate version of him while they’re working, so they like him. Brady also said that don’t judge him against being black. Because according to him, being black is not a monolithic thing, we have many, many different ways of being black. Assumption one’s personality base on skin color is very typical, and he’s not afraid to tell everyone that it’s bad.

About that Chappelle’s Show appearance in 2004…

In the spirit of proving just how not squeaky-clean he can be. In 2004, Brady has made an appearance on Chappelle’s Show and headed up a pretty gritty sketch. (Warning: NSFW.) With this single appearance, he got rid all doubts about if he had a wider range than the kid-friendly version. In a sketch that starts out with nothing more than two friends enjoying some time out of their busy schedules. But then one of them, Brady, takes the other one, Chappelle, on a drive. It starts with Brady behind the wheel of a drive-by shooting and into the seediest parts of the city after that.

Honestly, he seems kind of awesome

Chappelle's Show

Brady himself says, it’s easy to assume that the person you see on their television shows is who they are. That’s doubly true when those shows are ones like Brady’s shows. Shows where he’s typically not playing a character or assuming the identity of anyone but himself. Maybe that’s why peoples think him as a squeaky-clean person, who knows.

Though, you’ll find a man who’s not just very much as intelligent and well-spoken as he is on television. But also someone who is more than willing to step forward to call someone out when they deserve it. And not to hide, but share his own pain and sadness to help others that he might not even know. That is if you meet Brady in real life. He might not be an entirely squeaky-clean person that peoples often want. But one thing that he definitely is? A straight-up guy with many personalities that Hollywood definitely need.


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