On this day in comedy on September 4, 1960 Comedian, Actor, Writer, Producer, Damon Kyle Wayans, Sr. was born in Harlem.
In 1982 Damon Wayans began his career in stand-up comedy. In 1984 he made his first film appearance as a hotel employee offering Eddie Murphy bananas in “Beverly Hills Cop”. In 1985 Wayans was cast as a featured performer on “Saturday Night Live” for NBC. This lasted for a year. He was fired for changing a skit; playing his cop character gay instead of straight. By 1990 he was on “In Living Color” a sketch comedy show on Fox showcasing the talents of his brothers Keenan Ivory and Shawn Wayans as well as sister, Kim.
On “In Living Color” Wayans created an arrayed of memorable characters. There was Whiz (Homeboy Shopping Network), Homey D. Clown, Blaine Edwards (Men on Film), Handi-Man, Reverend Ed Cash and Anton Jackson. Wayans also did impressions of Louis Farrakhan, Little Richard and Babyface. He was the co-creator and a performer. He stuck around for two seasons and then Wayans was off to make movies.
Damon Wayans starred in a succession of hit films. He played in The Last Boy Scout with Bruce Willis, Major Payne, The Great White Hype with Samuel L. Jackson, Blankman, Mo’ Money with Stacey Dash, Hollywood Shuffle, Bulletproof with Adam Sandler and Celtic Pride, just to name a handful.
Despite cinematic fame, Wayans never strayed too far from television. He produced the animated series, “Waynehead” for Fox in 1996. It lasted one season due to poor ratings. From 1997-1998 Wayans produced the short-lived drama, “413 Hope St.” starring Richard Roundtree. He starred in “Damon” in 1998 for Fox and wrote a book about family in 1999 called “Bootleg”. From 2001-2005 Damon Wayans starred in the ABC sitcom, “My Wife and Kids”. In 2006 he produced the Showtime sketch show, “The Underground” and in 2011 he wrote a novel about the “Red Hat Society”.
Wayans has received numerous award nominations (four for acting and directing “In Living Color”; four International Press Academy’s “Golden Satellite Award”) and won the 2002 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Male Performer for his work on “My Wife and Kids”.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
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