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Although oldest brother Keenen Ivory Wayans ran things behind the scenes on the family’s hit urban-flavored sketch show “In Living Color” (FOX, 1990-94), and youngest brothers Marlon and Shawn became increasingly visible in recent years as a big screen comedy team, it was Damon Wayans who brought the Wayans into the mainstream with a variety of high profile roles both on the big and small screen. After finding success by pushing the envelope early in his career – such as playing Homey the abusive clown on “In Living Color” – he found it again by embracing more conventional comedic work more than a decade later on his family friendly sitcom, “My Wife and Kids” (ABC, 2001-05). Get in touch with Command Talent, a Damon Wayans Booking Agent to discuss pricing for private parties, corporate events and concerts.
Damon Kyle Wayans was born Sept. 4, 1960 in New York City, NY, the third of 10 extremely talented and truly funny children. His childhood in the Fulton Housing Projects was difficult – born with a clubfoot, he was tormented by other children, and would later tell interviewers about physical abuse he suffered from his Jehovah’s Witness parents (Wayans himself never practiced the faith). Coming from such a large but economically strapped family provided its share of pros and cons: given the size of his family, his parents were also frequently unable to put food on the table, but the sheer number of siblings provided him with instant friends and a degree of protection from outsiders. Nevertheless, he left school after ninth grade. Get in touch with Command Talent, a Damon Wayans Booking Agent to discuss pricing for private parties, corporate events and concerts.
Following in his brother Keenen’s comedy footsteps, in 1982, he tried his hand at stand-up comedy, and after finding a degree of success, subsequently began his acting/performing career by touring in national comedy club circuits until he earned a featured slot on the comic holy grail – “Saturday Night Live” (NBC, 1975- ). Unfortunately for young Wayans, it was a featured slot during the one season critics and fans agreed then (and still agree now) was the most inexcusably bad season in the show’s history. Nothing good, apart from a paycheck and another entry on the comic resume, resulted from Wayan’s brush with this particular comic institution. After landing a memorable cameo in “Beverly Hills Cop” (1984), Wayans hit the ground running with roles in notable films including “Hollywood Shuffle” (1987), “Roxanne” (1987), and “Colors” (1988), as well as guesting on the hit sitcom, “A Different World” (NBC, 1987-1993). Get in touch with Command Talent, a Damon Wayans Booking Agent to discuss pricing for private parties, corporate events and concerts.
“Hollywood Shuffle,” written by big brother Keenen, was the first collaboration between the two siblings, but far from the last. In 1988, Damon appeared in the slapstick blacksploitation spoof “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka,” written and directed by Keenen, and in 1990, the family hit the mother lode by creating their very own urban-style sketch show, “In Living Color.” Wayans, along with newcomer and resident “white guy” Jim Carey, was one of the show’s biggest breakout stars, appearing hilariously as Homey the Clown, homeless TV personality Anton Jackson, the Head Detective, and half of the slightly effeminate “Men on Film” (alongside David Alan Grier) among dozens of others. He left the show after its third season to pursue opportunities in film, though being the good brother, he would return for occasional guest appearances during the fourth season. Get in touch with Command Talent, a Damon Wayans Booking Agent to discuss pricing for private parties, corporate events and concerts.
His film career, however, was just getting started. He had starring or co-starred roles in a series of films, none of which were family-related, beginning with 1991’s “The Last Boy Scout,” co-starring Bruce Willis; “Mo’ Money” (1992), inspired by an “In Living Color” sketch known as “The Homeboy Shopping Network;” and continuing on through 1996’s “Bulletproof” opposite fellow comic, Adam Sandler. After writing the book, Bootleg, a humorous compilation of his own observations with regards to family, children, marriage and politics, he found himself atop the New York Times Bestseller List in 1999. Get in touch with Command Talent, a Damon Wayans Booking Agent to discuss pricing for private parties, corporate events and concerts.
After appearing in a few relatively minor films, including “Bamboozled” (2000) and “Marci X” (2003), Wayans returned to television in a big way with his second sitcom, “My Wife and Kids” (ABC, 2001-06). True to form, the show became a Wayans ensemble production, with virtually every family member appearing in front of or behind the camera at one time or another. The family friendly show enjoyed a successful five-year run, during which fans were able to see a still funny, but matured Wayans brother in top form. Get in touch with Command Talent, a Damon Wayans Booking Agent to discuss pricing for private parties, corporate events and concerts.
After “My Wife and Kids” was cancelled in 2006, Wayans lost a protracted legal battle to trademark the word “Nigga” for use as the name of a clothing line and store. He also became involved – presumably reprising his “In Living Color” role as the titular character – in the upcoming film, “Homey the Clown,” revisiting the role that really, put the comic actor on the map over a decade ago.
Get in touch with Command Talent, a Damon Wayans Booking Agent to discuss pricing for private parties, corporate events and concerts.