Damon Wayans

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For the actor's son, see Damon Wayans, Jr..
Damon Wayans
2007 Damon Wayans crop 01.jpg
Damon at the Improv, 2007
Birth name Damon Kyle Wayans
Born (1960-09-04) September 4, 1960 (age 53)
New York City, New York,
United States
Medium Stand-up, television, film, books
Nationality American
Years active 1982–present
Genres Observational comedy, Improvisational comedy, Satire/Political satire
Subject(s) Family, children, parenting, marriage, American politics, everyday life
Spouse Lisa Thorner (1984-2000) (divorced) 4 children
Notable works and roles Saturday Night Live
In Living Color
Maj. Benson Payne in Major Payne
Michael Kyle in My Wife and Kids
Damon Thomas in Damon

Damon Kyle Wayans (/ˈdmən ˈw.ənz/;[1] born September 4, 1960) is an American stand-up comedian, writer and actor, one of the Wayans family.

Early life[edit]

Wayans was born in New York City, New York, the son of Elvira, a homemaker and social worker, and Howell Wayans, a supermarket manager.[2][3][4] He has five sisters, Elvira, Vonnie, Nadia, Kim, Diedre, and four brothers, actors Marlon Wayans, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Shawn Wayans, and Dwayne Wayans. He was clubbed footed as a child. This attribute would also be given to his character in My Wife and Kids and his character on the cartoon series Waynehead. Wayans attended Murry Bergtraum High School.[5]


Damon started doing stand-up comedy in 1982. His earliest film appearance was a brief cameo as an effeminate hotel employee in the 1984 Eddie Murphy film Beverly Hills Cop. He was briefly on Saturday Night Live as a featured performer, before getting fired for playing his character as a flamboyant gay cop instead of a straight cop. He went against the script during the live performance. In the Saturday Night Live book Live From New York, it was stated that Wayans did this largely due to growing frustrations that his sketches were not being considered for the show and increasing stress. He also appeared in the syndicated TV series Solid Gold during the 1980s as a stand-up comedian. After that, he went on to co-create and appear in the TV-show In Living Color from 1990 to 1992, part of a team that was nominated for Emmy Awards all three years.

After In Living Color, he starred in films such as The Last Boy Scout, Major Payne and The Great White Hype and wrote and starred in the film Blankman. He also appeared in Janet Jackson's video "The Best Things in Life Are Free" and was considered for the role of The Riddler in Batman Forever (the role went to Jim Carrey, his co-star from In Living Color and Earth Girls Are Easy).

In 1996, he produced Waynehead, a cartoon for the WB, loosely based on his own childhood growing up in a large family, starring a poor boy with a club foot. The show only lasted a season due to poor ratings. From 1997 to 1998, he was the executive producer of 413 Hope St., a short-lived drama on the FOX network starring Richard Roundtree and Jesse L. Martin.

In 1998, he starred in a short-lived comedy titled Damon, in which he played a Chicago detective. It aired on FOX. In 1999, his New York Times bestselling book Bootleg with co-author David Asbery was published; it is a humorous compilation of his observations about family.[6]

In 2006, he began starring in The Underground, a sketch comedy series on Showtime. His son, Damon, Jr. also stars on the show. He hosted the 2006 BET Awards which was held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California on June 27, 2006.

For his role in the ABC comedy series My Wife and Kids, Wayans received four International Press Academy "Golden Satellite Award" nominations, in addition to four Emmy awards nominations for his acting and directing in the 1990s' series In Living Color. He also added author of a serious fictional novel to his credits this past year[year needed] with "Red Hats" which is the story of a suicidal 65-year-old woman who finds friendship and happiness when she joins the Red Hat Society.

Personal life[edit]

Wayans was married to Lisa Thorner, however they divorced in 2000. He has four children, sons Damon Wayans, Jr., Michael Wayans and daughters Cara Mia Wayans, and Kyla Wayans. He is the uncle of Damien Dante Wayans, Chaunté Wayans and Craig Wayans.

Wayans is a close personal friend of both NBA legend Michael Jordan and fellow In Living Color star Jim Carrey.

He won the 2002 People's Choice Awards for Favorite Male.[citation needed]

In Living Color[edit]


  • Whiz (Homeboy Shopping Network)
  • Homey D. Clown
  • Blaine Edwards (Men on...)
  • Mr.H
  • Handi-Man
  • Reverend Ed Cash
  • Anton Jackson
  • Head Detective
  • Tom Brothers (w/Keenen Ivory Wayans)
  • Oswald Bates



Year Title Role
1984 Beverly Hills Cop Banana Man
1985–1986 Saturday Night Live (TV series) Various (only featured, never offered contract for permanent cast member)
1986 Triplecross (TV) Ornery Character #1
1987 Hollywood Shuffle Body Guard #2/Willie
1987 Roxanne Jerry
1987 A Different World (TV series) Marvin Haven
1988 Colors T-Bone
1988 Earth Girls Are Easy Zeebo
1988 Punchline Percy
1988 I'm Gonna Git You Sucka Leonard
1989 One Night Stand Comedian
1990 Look Who's Talking Too Eddie (voice)
1990–1994 In Living Color (TV series) Various
1991 The Last Boy Scout James Alexander "Jimmy" Dix
1992 Mo' Money Johnny Stewart
1993 Last Action Hero Himself
1994 Blankman Darryl Walker
1995 Major Payne Maj. Benson Payne (main character)
1996 Celtic Pride Lewis Scott
1996 The Great White Hype James "The Grim Reaper" Roper
1996 Bulletproof Rock Keats/Jack Carter
1998 Damon (TV series) Damon Thomas
1999 Harlem Aria Wes
1999 Goosed Dr. Steven Hemel
2000 Bamboozled Pierre Delacroix
2001–2005 My Wife and Kids (TV series) Michael Kyle
2003 Marci X Dr. S
2004 Behind the Smile Charlie Richman
2006 Farce of the Penguins (V) "Hey, that's my ass!" Penguin (voice)
2006 The Underground (TV series) Various
2008 Never Better (TV series) Keith
2011 Happy Endings (TV series) Francis Williams
TBA Untitled Damon Wayans Project (TV series)[citation needed] TBA


External links[edit]