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Keenen Ivory Wayans

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Keenen Ivory Wayans
Wayans in 2013
Born (1958-06-08) June 8, 1958 (age 60)
New York City, New York, United States
Education Tuskegee University
Occupation Actor, comedian, filmmaker
Years active 1979–2009; 2013–present
Children 5
Family See Wayans Family
Awards 1990-Emmy Award Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series
In Living Color (as executive producer)

Keenen Ivory Desuma Wayans, Sr. (born June 8, 1958) is an American actor, comedian, filmmaker, and a member of the Wayans family of entertainers. He first came to prominence as the host and the creator of the 1990–1994 Fox sketch comedy series In Living Color. He has produced, directed and/or written a large number of films, starting with Hollywood Shuffle, which he co wrote, in 1987.

A majority of these films have included him and one or more of his brothers and sisters in the cast.

One of these films, Scary Movie (2000), which Wayans directed, was the highest grossing movie ever directed by an African American until it was surpassed by Tim Story's Fantastic Four in 2005. From 1997 to 1998, he hosted the talk show The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show.[1] Most recently, he was a judge for the eighth season of Last Comic Standing.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Finding Your Roots, Season Three: Keenen Ivory Wayans Clip 1


- [Henry] After the war, he was elected to the United States senate, but he was not seated because he refused to take the oath of allegiance to the North... - The Union. - [Henry] To the Union. - Yes. - So this Manning man was hardcore. Totally hardcore. Now take a look at this. That's Governor Manning and that's his plantation house. - [Young Bald Man] Wow. He looks like he owned 600 square feet. Wow, look at that house. (tranquil guitar music) - [Voiceover] In our search to find out more about Ben's life as Governor Manning's servant, we came across an account of a trip the Governor took to Canada in the early 1840s. As we might expect, he took Ben along, but events north of the border took a very strange turn. - [Henry] We came across a pretty amazing story. You ready? - Ready. - [Henry] Would you please read the highlighted section? - [Young Bald Man] While in Canada, some zealous abolitionists kidnapped Ben and secreted him until Governor Manning had ceased to make search and had started back home. - [Henry] Your ancestor was kidnapped by abolitionists in Canada. Can you believe that? - Yeah. He was actually taken out of slavery. - [Henry] Taken out of slavery. - And you're gonna tell me he went back? (laughing) - [Henry] Please turn the page. - Wow. Wow. Oh, my God.


Life and career

Wayans was born in Harlem, New York City, son of Howell Stouten Wayans, a supermarket manager, and his wife Elvira Alethia (Green), a homemaker and social worker.[2][3] His father was a devout Jehovah's Witness.[4][5][6] The family later moved to Manhattan's Fulton housing projects.,[7] where he primarily grew up. Wayans attended Tuskegee University on an engineering scholarship.[7] He entertained his friends at college with made-up stories about life in New York.[8] One semester before graduation, he dropped out of school to focus on comedy.[9]

During his first set performing at The Improv in New York, Wayans met Robert Townsend, who helped him learn about the comedy business.[8] Townsend and Wayans drove cross country to Los Angeles together when Wayans moved to Los Angeles in 1980.[8] They did not speak for a year afterwards. Wayans worked there as an actor. He had a regular role as a soldier on a television series named "For Love and Honor".[8]

Townsend wrote, directed, and starred in the movie Hollywood Shuffle; Wayans was co star and co writer.[8] The movie's success allowed him to raise the money to make I'm Gonna Git You Sucka.[8] Fox Broadcasting Company approached Wayans to offer him his own show.[10] Wayans wanted to produce a variety show, similar to Saturday Night Live, with a cast of people of color that took chances with its content.[7]

Fox gave Wayans a lot of freedom with the show, although Fox executives were a bit concerned about the show's content prior to its television debut.[10] Wayans created, wrote, and starred in the show, called In Living Color, an American sketch comedy television series that originally ran on the Fox Network from 1990 to 1994.

Wayans is a vegetarian, and has promoted the diet in a public service announcement of 2006 for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.[11][12]

In Living Color


  • Death Row Comic (Prison Cable Access)
  • Frenchie
  • Ice Man (Homeboy Shopping Network)
  • Tom Brothers (The Brothers Brothers)
  • Wes (Wes & Les)



Year Title Role
1983 Star 80 Comic
1983 For Love and Honor Duke
1987 A Different World Professor Lawrence
1987 Hollywood Shuffle Donald/Jheri Curl
1988 I'm Gonna Git You Sucka Jack Spade
1994 A Low Down Dirty Shame Shame
1996 Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood Mailman
1996 The Glimmer Man Det. Jim Campbell
1997 Most Wanted Gunnery Sergeant James Dunn
2000 Scary Movie Slave (Amistad II)
2001 My Wife and Kids Ken
2009 Dance Flick Mr. Stache
2013 Happily Divorced Tony
2014 Last Comic Standing Judge

Writing/producing/directing credits


  1. ^ Braxton, Greg (August 3, 1997). "Will 'Hip' Equal 'Hit'?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-11-06.
  2. ^ Stated on Finding Your Roots, January 19, 2016, PBS
  3. ^ PBS
  4. ^ Keenen Ivory Wayans Biography (1958–)
  5. ^ Stein, Joel (September 11, 2000). "Marlon Wayans". Time.
  6. ^ The Movie Chicks – Interview – Marlon Wayans
  7. ^ a b c Laurence, Robert P. (April 13, 1990). "Is prime time ready for rudeness? Fox's new comedy 'In Living Color' will offend some, tickle others". The San Diego Union. p. E1.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Hughes, Mike (April 13, 1990). "Laughing with 'Living Color'". USA Today.
  9. ^ McIntyre, Mike (February 16, 1989). "Keenen Wayans gambles and wins on an offbeat 'Sucka'". The San Diego Union. p. E3.
  10. ^ a b "New Fox Show Pokes Fun at Black Stereotypes". Associated Press. Greensboro, North Carolina: Greensboro News & Record. April 12, 1990. p. B6.
  11. ^ "Keenen Ivory Wayans". TV Guide. Archived from the original on September 8, 2015. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  12. ^ "Do It for Someone You Love: Keenan Ivory Wayans". Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Archived from the original on April 27, 2012. Retrieved September 7, 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 1 November 2018, at 01:27
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