Wayne Brady, performing at Planet Hollywood, mixes it up with Mike Tyson, Bobby Brown


Wayne Brady's video on FunnyOrDie.com went viral last week for obvious reasons. It's silly. It's funny. And it's familiar in a bizarre way, since Brady, Mike Tyson and Bobby Brown dance in a shot-for-shot "re-mock" of Bobby Brown's "Every Little Step" music video from 1989.

Brady -- performing tonight and Saturday at Planet Hollywood Resort -- explains how this came about.

First, Brady got in the mood to meet Tyson after he watched director James Toback's documentary "Tyson" and Tyson's comedic performance in the Vegas movie "The Hangover."

"I saw the documentary, and said, 'Wow, I gotta meet this guy.' And of course, I had already seen 'The Hangover.' And I just thought, 'He's funny as hell.' So we sat down for dinner and said, 'Let's do something.' "

FunnyOrDie already had asked Brady to contribute a video, so he knew there would be a home for a Brady-Tyson collaboration.

And Tyson came to the table with ideas.

"Mike said, 'Let's do a sketch where we battle kids on the schoolyard, and we dance,' " Brady says.

"That struck me as so funny that Mike Tyson wants to dance," Brady says.

Then, Brady's girlfriend, writer-actress Robin Thede, chimed in.

"Robin said, 'If you're going to go after dance, you really need to go after something where there's a lot of dancing, and everybody knows all the moves."

She suggested "Every Little Step."

"I'm the one who pooh-poohed the idea at first," Brady says. "I said, 'Why?' She said, 'Just because it's funny.' "

Brady still wasn't convinced -- until he watched the original music video and saw Bobby Brown in biker shorts and red socks.

"Come on: biker shorts and red socks? How could you not do it?" Brady says. "The next thing you know, we're shooting the video for FunnyOrDie, and Bobby Brown shows up, and we have a hit!"

Brady loves that Tyson broke away from his public image in the video.

"When did you ever think you would see Mike Tyson -- who used to knock people out in 15 seconds and say crazy things like, 'I wanna eat your kids,' or 'bite your head off' -- dancing and making fun of himself?"

Many online viewers have commented that Tyson seems to be familiar with Brown's dance moves. Brady isn't sure if Tyson knew the moves beforehand.

"But Mike's in his 40s. So Mike was in his prime age back in the day, in the '80s, for the Roger Rabbit and the Running Man" dances. "That's a throwback!"

And Brown showed up at the video shoot "with the right spirit," Brady says.

Brady insists Tyson isn't the man the general public thinks he is.

"Everyone thinks they know Mike Tyson as the ear-biting, cuckoo-for-Cocoa Puffs crazy guy," Brady says. "Mike is one of the funniest, smartest guys."

I tell Brady that by calling Tyson "smart," he's inviting a lot of Internet quarterbacks to question Brady's judgment.

"That's the beautiful-slash-horrible thing about the Internet," Brady says. "It gives everyone a voice. And there's gonna be a lot of" nonsense among those voices.

THREE QUICKIES

Last year, Brady was performing his musical improvisation show, "Making It Up," in Vegas. Then he began to host "Let's Make A Deal" -- filmed in Vegas and aired on CBS.

Since then, "Let's Make A Deal" has moved from Vegas to Los Angeles, where Brady lives. He's entering his second year as host of the game show.

He also has time to act, appearing last week in "How I Met Your Mother."

And he still comes to Vegas to perform, as he will at Planet Hollywood Resort.

Question: Do you miss Vegas?

Answer: I'm not gone from it. I'm coming back. ... Vegas is always a 45-minute flight away.

Q: How is "Let's Make A Deal" going?

A: It's killing in the ratings. And it's great to be able to go to the taping and go home and sleep in my bed.

(The shooting schedule) gives me the freedom to come out (to Vegas) and kick ass on the weekends, and have fun and do a little improv and music.

Q: What are you doing more of in your stage shows -- improvisation or singing?

A: This show at the Planet Hollywood is what I do. It's improv. It's audience participation. It's a little bit of music.

It's always gonna be "Making Stuff Up," at least in Vegas, because that's what the nature of the beast is. That's what I need to do there. And that's what I have fun doing in Vegas, is doing a little old-school Vegas with an improvisational take.

Doug Elfman's column appears Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. E-mail him at delfman@ reviewjournal.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.

 

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