Verzuz brings out the jokes in the comment section on the Instagram live feed and even on stage between artists as they trade blows while performing. But actual comedians taking part in a back-and-forth battle would kick the laughter up a notch and Damon Wayans is willing to step into the arena.
“Let me ask you, have you been watching Verzuz?” asked one of the radio show hosts of Wayans. He admitted that he has not kept up with the series, which has brought together artists such as Gucci Mane and Jeezy, Brandy and Monica, and Beenie Man and Bounty Killer.
“No I have not,” Wayans responded to the shock of the radio host. “Do they do it with comedians?” he asked.
Another host then asked, “Who would you go against?”
The 60-year-old comedian promptly responded “Chapelle.” He continued, “I’m calling him out!”
— KBXX 97.9 The Box (@979TheBox) August 13, 2021
While Verzuz is primarily known for the musical competition, the platform has ventured into other industries. Pioneered by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland during the height of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, the platform has evolved into in-person performances, corporate partnerships, and clashes outside of music. In April 2020, the two producers shared their intentions on growing the platform during an interview with VIBE.
“At the end of the day, Verzuz is not just about music. We didn’t get into the sports side, we didn’t get into the comedy side. There’s other things that we’re gonna do, but this is a well thought out plan and we’re starting it with music because that’s our strong point. But we got other things that’s gonna blow people’s minds that’s set up, but this is a very calculated thing. This is a duration, this isn’t just for the hype of quarantine. This is for us to have a different platform that celebrates creativity period, not just music,” explained Swizz Beatz.
A comedy showdown has yet to take place, however, Verzuz Sports launched in January 2021 in collaboration with the NFL to present the NFL Pro Bowl Verzuz with football stars showcasing their position highlights. The four-day event featured Pro Bowl players Deshaun Watson, Jamal Adams, Budda Baker, DeAndre Hopkins, Jalen Ramsey, Cameron Jordan, Myles Garrett, and was hosted by NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders and NFL Network host MJ Acosta-Ruiz.
Most recently, hip-hop collectives Dipset and The Lox took the Verzuz stage in an epic showdown fueled by gritty New York energy. According to Markets Insider, the event, which broadcasted live from the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, set record-breaking viewership numbers. The battle brought in more than 5,000,000 views making it the highest music or sports broadcast of 2021 and the third-highest of any network show in the last year.
As of right now, the next Verzuz event has not been announced.