The Wayans Bros.
|The Wayans Bros.|
|Theme music composer|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||101 (list of episodes)|
|Production locations||Warner Bros. Studios, Burbank, California (taping location)|
|Camera setup||Videotape; Multi-camera|
|Running time||21 minutes approx.|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution|
|Original network||The WB|
|Original release||January 11, 1995 –|
May 20, 1999
The Wayans Bros. is an American sitcom television series that aired on The WB from January 11, 1995, to May 20, 1999. The series starred real life brothers Shawn and Marlon Wayans. The series also starred John Witherspoon and Anna Maria Horsford (season 2 onward).
Shawn and Marlon Williams (Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans) are brothers who live in an apartment on 117th street in Harlem. Shawn owns a local newsstand, where he and his brother Marlon work on a daily basis.
In the show's second season (in 1995), the newsstand and Pops' Joint, the restaurant owned by their father, John "Pops" Williams (John Witherspoon) were moved downtown into the fictional Neidermeyer Building, in Rockefeller Center, where Dee Baxter (Anna Maria Horsford (onwards from Season 2) works as a security guard.
Season 2 transitions
Many transitions were made in season 2:
- Shawn's former girlfriend, Lisa Saunders (Lela Rochon), did not return for the rest of the series.
- Monique (Paula Jai Parker), a local shopkeeper and Marlon's love interest, did not return after the eleventh episode. Parker first appeared as a love interest of Marlon's in the Season 1 episode "Pulp Marlon". She was only a guest star for the one episode.
- Lou (Jill Tasker), the former security guard, left after the seventh episode and was replaced by Dee Baxter (Anna Maria Horsford).
- White Mike (Mitch Mullany), Shawn and Marlon's ghetto white neighbour, appeared for six episodes of Season 2. He was slated to appear as a recurring character for the rest of the series. But the actor Mitch Mullany ended up getting his own show Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher.
- Shawn formerly worked for APS, yet in Season 2, he works at his newsstand.
- Marlon was working with Pops at the diner, but in Season 2, he worked at the newsstand with Shawn.
- Pops' Joint was a standalone restaurant, and he hired Marlon and Benny, the cook, during Season 1. However, in Season 2, the eatery was moved into the Neidermeyer Building, in Rockefeller Center. It also revealed that Pops' Joint was a historical landmark for the nation's leaders and activists of the Civil Rights Movement.
- Shawn Wayans – Shawn Williams, a womanizing, stylish and responsible young bachelor and Marlon's older brother. He is an owner of his own local newsstand.
- Marlon Wayans – Marlon Williams, Shawn's dimwitted, immature, sex crazed, unsanitary and lazy younger brother who also works at the newsstand.
- John Witherspoon – John "Pops" Williams, Shawn and Marlon's dysfunctional tacky father who owns his locally famed diner right by Shawn and Marlon's newsstand.
- Anna Maria Horsford – Deirdre "Dee" Baxter (onwards from Season 2), The tough security guard and Shawn, Marlon and Pops' close friend.
- Lela Rochon – Lisa Saunders (Season 1)
- Paula Jai Parker – Monique (Season 2, Episodes 1–11)
- Jill Tasker – Lou Malino (Season 2, Episodes 1–7)
- Phill Lewis – Thelonious "T.C." Capricornio (onwards from Season 2)
- Mitch Mullany – White Mike (Season 2)
- Ja'Net DuBois – Grandma Ellington (Seasons 3–4)
- Jermaine 'Huggy' Hopkins – Dupree (Seasons 3–5)
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||13||January 11, 1995||May 24, 1995|
|2||22||September 6, 1995||May 15, 1996|
|3||22||September 4, 1996||May 14, 1997|
|4||22||September 17, 1997||May 20, 1998|
|5||22||September 18, 1998||May 20, 1999|
The Wayans Bros. was the first of the four sitcoms that aired as part of the original Wednesday night two hour lineup that helped launch the network (along with Unhappily Ever After, The Parent 'Hood and the short-lived Muscle). While in development, the series' working title was initially supposed to have been Brother to Brother, before the name of the series changed to The Wayans Bros.
In the show's second season, in 1995 Pops' Joint (the restaurant owned by Shawn and Marlon's father, John "Pops" Williams) was moved into the Neidermeyer Building, where the location was changed from Harlem to Rockefeller Center, Manhattan.
The series was cancelled in 1999 due to declining ratings and was not given a proper finale.
While the series did not end on a cliffhanger, in the film Scary Movie (2000), Shawn Wayans' character says 'And The Wayans Bros. was a good show, man. It was a good-ass show, and we didn't even get a final episode.'
Theme music and opening sequence
The show's official opening title began with Shawn and Marlon on the steps of a brownstone apartment building, donning afros and wearing 1970s preppy attire, moving in rhythm to an accompanying satirical music piece that's supposed to have a 1970s style "urban" sitcom theme song feel. Marlon forcefully smacks the camera, and then segues into "the real opening" of The Wayans Bros.
The scene then cuts to them with their normal clothes and trying to help an old woman who gets hit by a bus. The camera then shows the brothers inside the bus with the title of the show underneath them. The "second half" part of The Wayans Bros. theme song was changed twice throughout its four-year run (1995–1999). In the first two seasons, the show's theme song was A Tribe Called Quest's "Electric Relaxation".
In the third season, the theme song changed to a four-second hip hop beat. In the final two seasons, the show's theme song was changed again to a regular hip hop instrumental beat (which was produced by the Wayans Bros. & Omar Epps). In Brazilian reruns of seasons one and two episodes that have aired in SBT in 2015, this version replaced the seasons one and two sequence with the season three sequence.
Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution handles syndication distribution of the series. In September 1999, after the series was cancelled by The WB, the series began airing in off network syndication nationwide.
At that same time, Chicago based national cable superstation WGN began airing reruns of the series, airing the series until 2002 (when its broadcast syndication run also ended); WGN (both the local Chicago feed and the national superstation feed) aired The Wayans Bros. in first run form from 1995 to 1999, when WGN (whose local Chicago feed was an affiliate of the network) carried WB programming nationally to make The WB available to markets where a local affiliate did not exist (The Wayans Bros. is one of three WB series to have aired on WGN in both first run and syndication form; The Parent 'Hood, 7th Heaven and Sister, Sister being the others).
In 2006, reruns began airing on BET, after a four-year absence, where it ran until 2007. In 2007, reruns of the series aired on Ion Television, where it ran until 2008. Since then, several Viacom networks, including MTV2, VH1 and BET Her have run the series in continuous rotation. As of 2021 all five seasons of the show air on HBO Max and BET+.
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release Date|
|The Complete First Season||13||February 8, 2005|
|The Complete Second Season||22||May 9, 2017|
|The Complete Third Season||22||November 7, 2017|
|The Complete Fourth Season||22||January 22, 2019|
|The Complete Fifth Season||22||March 26, 2019|
- "It's Comedy for WB Network". Broadcasting & Cable (via HighBeam Research). August 15, 1994. Archived from the original on 2012-11-05.
- "The Wayans Bros: The Complete Fifth Season".
- "The Wayans Bros. – 'The Complete 2nd Season' Is Coming to DVD at Long Last! Shawn and Marlon Come Back to Disc This May, from the Warner Archive". TVShowsOnDVD. Archived from the original on 21 April 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
- "The Wayans Bros. - 'The Complete 3rd Season' Is Coming to DVD This Year! MOD Available from the Warner Archive in Early November". TVShowsOnDVD. Archived from the original on 21 October 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
- "The Wayans Bros: The Complete Fourth Season".