Keenen Ivory Wayans

Director, Screenwriter, Producer
As the head and founding member of the multi-talented Wayans comedy empire, Keenen Ivory Wayans blazed a trail as a comedic actor and stand-up performer in the early 1980s. Though he made strides with guest-starring ... Read more »
Born: 06/07/1958 in New York City, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (49)

A Different World 1987 - 1993, 2000 - 2001, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

In Living Color 1987 - 1994, 2000 - 2001, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

Last Comic Standing 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Judge

My Wife and Kids 1989 - 1993, 2000 - 2001, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Improv: 50 Years Behind the Brick Wall 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Himself

Happily Divorced 2013 (Tv Show)

Actor

Inside Comedy 2013 (Tv Show)

Actor

Real Husbands of Hollywood 2013 (Tv Show)

Actor

FOX's 25th Anniversary Special 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Actor

TV Land Awards 2012 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Actor

Dance Flick 2009 (Movie)

Mr Stache (Actor)

HGTV Showdown 2008 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Black List: Volume One 2008 (Movie)

Interviewee (Actor)

Eddie Murphy: The Making of Delirious 2006 - 2007 (TV Show)

Actor

2006 BET Awards 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

BET Comedy Awards 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

Canned Ham: Scary Movie 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Scary Movie 2000 (Movie)

Slave (Actor)

12th Annual American Comedy Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

American Comedy Honors 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1998 World Music Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Most Wanted 1997 (Movie)

James Dunn (Actor)

The Glimmer Man 1996 (Movie)

Jim Campbell (Actor)

A Low Down Dirty Shame 1994 (Movie)

Shame (Actor)

In Censors We Trust 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Mo' Funny: Black Comedy in America 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Soul Train Comedy Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

A Comedy Salute to Michael Jordan 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

A Party For Richard Pryor 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Comic Relief V 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The 44th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

A Laugh, a Tear 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Motown 30: What's Goin' On! 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1990 MTV Video Music Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The 5th Annual American Comedy Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The American Music Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

I'm Gonna Git You Sucka 1988 (Movie)

Jack Spade (Actor)

Hollywood Shuffle 1987 (Movie)

Donald (Actor)

Hollywood Shuffle 1987 (Movie)

Jerry Curl (Actor)

Benson 1979 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Star 80 1983 (Movie)

Comic (Actor)

Cheers 1982 (Tv Show)

Actor

Irene 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

For Love and Honor (TV Show)

Actor
Writer (11)

Snowflake 2014 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Dance Flick 2009 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Little Man 2006 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

White Chicks 2004 (Movie)

(Story By)

White Chicks 2004 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Most Wanted 1997 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

A Low Down Dirty Shame 1994 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Five Heartbeats 1991 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

I'm Gonna Git You Sucka 1988 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Eddie Murphy Raw 1987 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Hollywood Shuffle 1987 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Producer (9)

Snowflake 2014 (Movie)

(Producer)

Dance Flick 2009 (Movie)

(Producer)

Little Man 2006 (Movie)

(Producer)

White Chicks 2004 (Movie)

(Producer)

Most Wanted 1997 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Robert Townsend and His Partners in Crime 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Producer

Eddie Murphy Raw 1987 (Movie)

(Producer)

Hammer, Slammer, and Slade (TV Show)

Executive Producer
Director (6)

Little Man 2006 (Movie)

(Director)

White Chicks 2004 (Movie)

(Director)

Scary Movie 2 2001 (Movie)

(Director)

Scary Movie 2000 (Movie)

(Director)

A Low Down Dirty Shame 1994 (Movie)

(Director)

I'm Gonna Git You Sucka 1988 (Movie)

(Director)
Music (3)

Dance Flick 2009 (Movie)

("Mama Died In A Car Crash") (Song)

Dance Flick 2009 (Movie)

("Mama Died In A Car Crash") (Song)

Dance Flick 2009 (Movie)

("I Shot Him At A Quarter To 1") (Song)

Biography

As the head and founding member of the multi-talented Wayans comedy empire, Keenen Ivory Wayans blazed a trail as a comedic actor and stand-up performer in the early 1980s. Though he made strides with guest-starring roles on several popular television shows, Wayans quickly became frustrated with the dearth of meaty comedic roles for African-American actors. He partnered with comedian Robert Townsend to channel his frustrations by co-writing the scathing and hilarious satire, "Hollywood Shuffle" (1987), which parodied the real-life challenges he faced trying to make it in show business. From there, he directed his first feature, "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" (1988), which showcased his talent for satire - particularly on issues affecting African-American culture. But Wayans made his biggest impact on the small screen with "In Living Color" (Fox, 1990-95), a groundbreaking, controversial and downright hysterical sketch comedy show that broke down racial stereotypes while introducing the world to Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier. Though he left after its third season and achieved greater success with features like "Scary Movie" (2000), Wayans nonetheless built his legacy and family's comedy dynasty on the back of arguably the best sketch comedy show of the 1990s.

Relationships

Brittany Daniel Actor

Companion
Rumored to have dated

Daphne Polk

Wife
Together since 1989 Married June 16, 2001 Filed for divorce in June 2004

Marlon Wayans Actor

Brother
Born July 23, 1972 Starred in films including "Scary Movie" (2000) and "White Chicks" (2004)

Damon Wayans Actor

Brother
Born Sept. 4, 1960 Co-starred on the Fox sketch comedy series "In Living Color"

Howell Wayans

Father
Jehovah's Witness

Dwayne Wayans Actor

Brother
Born July 20, 1956 Worked as production assistant and appeared on Fox sketch comedy series "In Living Color"

Elvira Wayans

Mother

Bella Wayans

Daughter
Mother, Daphne Polk

Shawn Wayans Actor

Brother
Born Jan. 19, 1971 Appeared on the Fox sketch comedy series "In Living Color"

Daphne Wayans

Daughter
Mother, Daphne Polk

Kim Wayans Actor

Sister
Born Oct. 16, 1961 Co-starred on the Fox sketch comedy series "In Living Color"

Jolie Wayans

Daughter
Mother, Daphne Polk

Nadia Wayans Actor

Sister
Appeared in brother Keenen's film "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" (1988)

Elvira Wayans Actor

Sister

Nala Wayans

Daughter
Mother, Daphne Polk

Keenan Wayans

Son
Mother, Daphne Polk

Diedra Wayans

Sister

Vonnie Wayans

Sister

Damon Wayans, Jr. Actor

Nephew

EDUCATION

Seward Park High School

New York , New York 1975

Tuskegee University

Tuskegee , Alabama
Dropped out in his senior year to pursue a comedy career

Milestones

2009

Produced and co-wrote the comedy spoof, "Dance Flick"; directed by nephew Damien Dante Wayans

2006

Directed his brothers Marlon and Shawn in the direct-to-video, "Little Man"

2006

With brothers Shawn and Marlon created, "Thugaboo," (Nickelodeon) a series of animated children's shows that follows the misadventures of nine kids growing up in the inner city

2006

Directed brothers Marlon and Shawn in the comedy, "The Little Man"; also co-wrote

2004

Co-wrote (with brothers Marlon and Shawn) the comedy, "White Chicks"; also produced and directed

2001

Once again directed brothers in the sequel, "Scary Movie 2"

2001

Had a recurring role on the ABC sitcom, "My Wife and Kids"; created by and starring brother Damon

2000

Directed the horror parody, "Scary Movie," starring his brothers Shawn and Marlon

1997

Hosted the syndicated late night talk-show, "The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show"

1996

Produced the film, "Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood," starring his brothers Marlon and Shawn

1996

Co-starred with Steven Seagal in the action film, "The Glimmer Man"

1994

Wrote, directed and starred in the action film, "A Low Down Dirty Shame"

1992

Ended his film and TV deal with 20th Century Fox to protest censorship of "In Living Color" and to protest Fox's decision to rerun first season episodes without his consultation; left the show at the end of the third season, but remained the executive pro

1990

Signed exclusive movie and TV deal with 20th Century-Fox

1990

Co-created (with brother Damon) the sketch comedy series, "In Living Color" (FOX); also wrote, produced and co-starred with several siblings

1988

Feature directing debut, "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka"; also wrote and acted

1987

Debut as a producer (also co-writer), "Eddie Murphy Raw"

1987

TV debut as producer, "Robert Townsend's Partners in Crime" (HBO)

1987

First feature as co-screenwriter (with director Robert Townsend), "Hollywood Shuffle"; also acted

1983

First film appearance, Bob Fosse's "Star 80"

1983

Was a series regular on "For Love and Honor" (NBC)

1981

Signed a development deal with NBC

1981

Made TV acting debut in the NBC sitcom (pilot), "Irene"

1980

Moved to Los Angeles and eventually worked at the Los Angeles Improv and the Comedy Store

1979

Moved to New York after leaving college and worked the stand-up comedy club circuit

1978

Performed at the Improv in New York during his summer vacation from college

Bonus Trivia

.

"On 'Saturday Night Live' they've been [satirizing famous Blacks] for years. Murphy [Eddie Murphy] did Jesse Jackson and Bill Cosby. That [represented] a single point of view on a show. 'In Living Color' is like having eight or nine Eddie Murphys on the show, so the point of view is different. Now for the first time, you have black creators behind works that represent black people. So when it's coming from the source, you don't have to worry about the criticisms and uproars from the community. I know what's offensive. I know how far to go. I know who is sort of sacred and who isn't. I mean, I have the pulse of the folks that I'm having fun with." - Wayans quoted in Emmy Magazine, January 1991

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