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‘I Would Not be Here Without This, Man’: Jennifer Hudson Shares How Marlon Wayans Helped Her Land Her Talk Show

Comedian Marlon Wayans was Wednesday’s guest on “The Jennifer Hudson Show,” where he caught up with his friend and former “Respect” co-star. In the Aretha Franklin biopic, Jennifer Hudson played the legendary singer, and Wayans portrayed her first husband and former manager, Ted White.

In between sharing their appreciation for each other, the EGOT winner thanked Wayans for helping her snag her first talk show.

Marlon Wayans (L) and Jennifer Hudson (R). @iamjhud/ Twitter

“I would not be here without this, man. He was a huge part of me getting the show because he was a part of creating the pilot for the show,” Hudson said. “So thank you so much for that, Marlon.” He humbly replied, “Thank you … you’re welcome. You get that.”

The “White Chicks” actor described Hudson as someone who is “skilled at everything” and himself as someone who “does one thing great — comedy.”

The former co-stars spoke highly of Wayans’ sense of “loyalty” and allegiance to his friends. He revealed how grateful he was to have Hudson sing at his mother’s funeral two years ago.

“I’m always a phone call away,” said the entertainer. “You came and you sang at my mama’s funeral for nothing. She just came up. She showed up and she sang at my mama’s funeral, and you know that’s my favorite girl. So when you did that … I’m always one phone call away.”

Wayans’ mother, Elvira Wayans, died in July 2020 at the age of 81. He expressed how devastated he was on Instagram and hinted that she was a fan of Hudson’s soulful vocals. The audience fought back tears watching Wayans pretend to be his mother sitting up in her casket.

“My mama couldn’t believe it. She woke up. She says, ‘Is that J Hud?'” he said jokingly. “Now I can meet my maker.”

The “Dreamgirls” star said that she was happy to honor the matriarch of the Wayans family, who shares the same birthday as her son.

The “Senseless” star continued with the jokes while recalling how he met Hudson. He initially said on the set of filming “Respect,” but clarified they met during a table read.

“Jennifer … she likes the room hot. Like it be so hot Haitians be like, ‘I can’t be here,'” the 50-year-old joked. “Because she’s like my voice my instrument, so it’s hot as hell. She comes in and you’re wearing a sweater.”

He looked at Hudson and said, ‘The sweater kept dripping off your shoulder. I was like, “Girl if you don’t get that thing back on.'” Afterward, she sat next to him and aggressively highlighted her script “like a kid. I was like ‘you don’t color in the lines?'”

Hudson pointed out, “All I needed to see is the color. I got my lines right didn’t I?”

The two exchanged high-fives before she added, “I’m so grateful to have had you as a co-star and then now one of best friends and favorite people in life.”

As much as Hudson enjoyed filming “Respect,” fans on social media believe she was snubbed by the Oscars. The 41-year-old did not receive a nomination in the Best Actress category when the nominees were announced in February.

The former American Idol contestant was snubbed in the same category last year by the Golden Globes. At the time, Wayans pledged to take matters into his own hands if she was snubbed by the Oscars, as previously reported. He said, “If she don’t win a statue I’mma steal one and give it to her.”

Hudson won her first Oscar for Best Supporting Actress after portraying Effie White in “Dreamgirls” in 2007.

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