Keenen Ivory Wayans

Keenen Ivory Wayans Headshot

Actor • Comedian • Writer

Birth Date: June 8, 1958

Age: 66 years old

Birth Place: New York, New York

Partners: Brittany Daniel

Siblings: Damon Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans, Kim Wayans

Keenen Ivory Wayans is an American actor, writer and producer who is best known for creating the groundbreaking 90s sketch comedy series "In Living Color" (Fox, 1990-94). Born in Harlem, and raised in the Fulton housing projects in Manhattan, Wayans and his siblings always had a penchant for making each other laugh. Although he was inspired by the legendary standup comedian Richard Pryor, Wayans put his comedy aspirations on hold to attend Tuskegee University on an engineering scholarship.

While attending Tuskegee Wayans cracked up his friends and classmates by telling stories of his childhood growing up in New York. Wayans quickly found that he was good at making people laugh, so he decided to turn his dreams into reality. He dropped out of Tuskegee with one semester left before graduation and moved back to New York to start his standup career. It was there that he launched his standup career in New York's various comedy clubs, and quickly befriended a fellow comic named Robert Townsend. Townsend and Wayans became fast friends, and would later help one another out as their careers progressed.

In 1980 Wayans moved to Los Angeles to become an actor. He nabbed a couple of bit parts in the early 1980s before landing his first breakout role as a soldier on the series "For Love and Honor" (NBC, 1983-84). Then in 1987 Wayans co-wrote and co-starred in "Hollywood Shuffle" (1987), which was directed by Townsend. The success of that film gave Wayans the financing he needed to write, direct and star in the 1988 comedy "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka." That film was a moderate success and popular with audiences. Before long the fledgling Fox network came calling and asked Wayans to create a TV series. His idea was to make a sketch comedy show with a diverse cast that pushed the boundaries. The network agreed and in 1990 "In Living Color" premiered.

The show as a huge success and was responsible for launching the careers of Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, David Alan Grier, as well as Wayans' siblings Damon, Shawn, Marlon and Kim. Jennifer Lopez also got her start on the series as one of the show's dancers, also known as The Fly Girls. After "In Living Color" ended its five-season run in 1994 Wayans continued writing, producing and acting. He directed a string of blockbuster comedies in the early 2000s, "Scary Movie" (2000), "Scary Movie 2" (2001), and "White Chicks" (2004), all of which were hugely popular. Wayans output slowed by the early 2010s. He attempted to reboot "In Living Color" in 2012 but despite a pilot being shot the reboot was cancelled after disagreements with Fox. Wayans largely retired following that disappointment.

Credits

The Last O.G.Stream

Executive Producer
Series
2018

Dying Laughing

Self
Movie
2016

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonStream

Guest
Talk
2014

The Improv: 50 Years Behind the Brick Wall

Actor
Show
2013

Fox's 25th Anniversary Special

Guest
Show
2012

Finding Your RootsStream

Guest
Reality
2012

Happily DivorcedStream

Guest Star
Series
2011

On Story

Guest
Show
2011

Access Hollywood Live

Guest
Show
2010

Dance Flick

Actor
Mr. Stache
Movie
2009

Dance Flick

Producer
Movie
2009

Dance Flick

Screenwriter
Movie
2009

HGTV Summer Showdown

Judge
Show
2008

A Miracle on D-Roc's Street

Producer
Show
2006

A Miracle on D-Roc's Street

Voice
Show
2006

A Miracle on D-Roc's Street

Writer
Show
2006

Thugaboo: Sneaker Madness

Producer
Show
2006

Thugaboo: Sneaker Madness

Voice
Show
2006

Thugaboo: Sneaker Madness

Writer
Show
2006

Little ManStream

Director
Movie
2006
12%

Little ManStream

Producer
Movie
2006
12%

Little ManStream

Writer
Movie
2006
12%

Before They Were Kings: Volume 2

Actor
Show
2005

White ChicksStream

Director
Movie
2004
15%

White ChicksStream

Producer
Movie
2004
15%

White ChicksStream

Screenwriter
Movie
2004
15%

Last Comic Standing

Judge
Reality
2003

My Wife and KidsStream

Guest Star
Series
2001

Scary Movie 2Stream

Director
Movie
2001
14%

An Evening at the Improv

Guest
Show
2000

Scary MovieStream

Director
Movie
2000
51%

Most Wanted

Actor
Sergeant James Dunn
Movie
1997

Most Wanted

Writer
Movie
1997

Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the HoodStream

Actor
Mailman
Movie
1996
32%

Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the HoodStream

Producer
Movie
1996
32%

The Glimmer ManStream

Actor
Det. Jim Campbell
Movie
1996
11%

Bajo Sucio Investigador Privado

Actor
Movie
1994

Bajo Sucio Investigador Privado

Director
Movie
1994

A Low Down Dirty ShameStream

Actor
Shame
Movie
1994
4%

A Low Down Dirty ShameStream

Director
Movie
1994
4%

A Low Down Dirty ShameStream

Writer
Movie
1994
4%

The Five HeartbeatsStream

Screenwriter
Movie
1991
39%

In Living Color

Actor
Series
1990

In Living Color

Executive Producer
Series
1990

I'm Gonna Git You SuckaStream

Actor
Jack Spade
Movie
1988
62%

I'm Gonna Git You SuckaStream

Director
Movie
1988
62%

I'm Gonna Git You SuckaStream

Writer
Movie
1988
62%

A Different WorldStream

Guest Star
Series
1987

Eddie Murphy: RawStream

Producer
Movie
1987
77%

Eddie Murphy: RawStream

Writer
Movie
1987
77%

Hollywood ShuffleStream

Actor
Donald/Jheri Curl
Movie
1987
88%

Hollywood ShuffleStream

Screenwriter
Movie
1987
88%

For Love and Honor

Actor
Pvt. Duke Johnson
Series
1983

Star 80Stream

Actor
Comic
Movie
1983
81%

CheersStream

Guest Star
Customer 1
Series
1982
87%

Hill Street BluesStream

Guest Star
Raymond Jackson
Series
1981
97%

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny CarsonStream

Guest
Talk
1962

Today

Guest
News
1952

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