David James Elliott on The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show

1997


 

Keenen Ivory Wayans: You're a pretty tall guy.

David James Elliott: Yeah. How tall are you?

KIW: I'm 6'3".

DJE: I'm 6'4". [audience hoots and cheers] ... Yeah.

KIW: Awesome!

DJE: Lots of 6'4" people out there ... [laughing]

KIW: All the women around the office today were just raving about you. They were calling you the best-looking man on television.

[loud prolonged cheering from audience]

DJE: I don't .... that's ... flattering ...

KIW: I'm sure you get a lot of fan mail.

DJE: Yeah, oh yeah. Fan mail's really weird 'cause you get, ... you know, people who take the time to write the letters ... and I appreciate that so I kind of feel obligated to read everything, you know. You get some weird stuff and you get some pretty normal letters. I got one letter once from a 90-year-old lady who told me if she was 30 years younger she'd give my wife a run for her money. [laughter] I guess when you're 90, 60 looks really young ... [more laughter]. It was so sweet ... said she would eat me with a spoon!

KIW: [laughing hard] That's probably 'cause she didn't have any teeth! That's really cute!

DJE: [big loud laugh] Yeah!

KIW: Now I hear you go spear-fishing?

DJE: Yeah, oh yeah. I love it. You ever done it?

KIW: No, no, no. This is the one where you go under the water ...

DJE: Yeah, you dive ... [points at the aquarium in the background]. Picture me in that tank back there ... My father is a Bahamian so I've been going to the Bahamas all my life and the bulk of my relatives live there so that's kind of where I took it up.

We were there this summer and I had my first real run-in with sharks. We were down fishing in about 50 feet of water and I hit this grouper. But he was still alive. Normally you want to hit him in the head and kill him instantly and bring him up. Kind of a gory thing. Don't try this at home. I hit him and I was chasing after him. My lungs were burning for air and he shook the spear at the last minute. Suddenly something brushed against me. I thought it was my cousin. I thought, "What are you doing, man?" I turned around. I'm looking and I looked up and my cousin's doing a "Look!" and it was this big bull shark. It was a 6-foot bull shark...

KIW: Wow!

DJE: ... This 6-foot bull shark had come. I came up top and he said, "I was yelling at you! You're lucky the fish shook the spear because that's what he was after."

And then he [the shark] started getting really aggressive. My cousin had hit another fish and said, "Listen, go down and get that fish. My spear's still in it. He's in this hole in a rock."

KIW: Your cousin want you to go back for the spear?

DJE: Yeah, right. And I said, "You're kidding, right? I'm not going down there." And he said, "No, no, 'cause I'm going to take care of the shark."

We'd been there for a while. There was some blood in the water and the shark was getting really agitated. This thing started charging up again. He [the cousin] swam right at it with the spear, let the spear go, just missed it, and I guess the shark heard the whoosh! of the spear as it went by and took off. I swam down, got the thing. Then two more sharks showed up .. and we left.

KIW: Wow! Wouldn't it be just as easy to stand aboard the boat ...?

DJE: Drop down a line ...? Definitely different!

KIW: You gotta go down there with the sharks.

DJE: Well these guys do it all the time. They said, "Nah, don't worry about sharks. Not going to bother you!"

KIW: Yeah, why do people say that?

DJE: I don't know because they bother some people ...

KIW: Every week we see somebody else who got bitten in half by a shark.

DJE: They don't bother people!

KIW: Now I also understand that music is a big love of yours ...

DJE: Yeah. Started out in a rock band. But unlike your band - these young ladies - most of the musicians I know are really flaky. One minute they were going to make it their career; next minute they were going somewhere else. And I quit school to make a go of this band.

KIW: [groans] Oh!

DJE: They kept flaking out and flaking out and I'm going ... the only thing that held them together was the fact that I threatened to kill everybody if the band broke up one more time!

KIW: I can see that! Everybody was going, "Hey, we're going to quit high school." Yeah man! Exactly! We're going to make a go of this. I quit [school], man!

DJE: Yeah! [laughing]

KIW: ... and my Mom wouldn't let me! Ha! ha! ha!

DJE: But I just quit, what do you mean? Well, I actually did and then I went back. I got disillusioned with that. We moved to the big city. We were all living in this boarding house. It was really dreadful. I took a job in a belt factory and eventually I went, "What am I doing?" And I woke up and I went back to high school - for you guys at home ...

KIW: You got that degree?

DJE: I got that degree.

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