Damon Kyle Wayans Sr. is an American stand-up comedian, writer and actor, one of the Wayans family.
Wayans was born in New York City, New York, the son of Elvira, a homemaker and social worker, and Howell Wayans, a supermarket manager. He has five sisters, Elvira, Vonnie, Nadia, Kim, Diedre, and four brothers, actors Marlon Wayans, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Shawn Wayans, and Dwayne Wayans. He had a clubbed foot 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.
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.
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 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.
Actor: (TV appearances) Saturday Night Live, 1985—86, Triple Cross, 1985, Take No Prisoners: Robert Townsend and His Partners in Crime, 1988, The Mutiny Has Just Begun: Robert Townsend and His Partners in Crime, III, 1989; (TV series) One Night Stand, 1989, In Living Color, 1990—92 (Emmy Outstanding writing in variety program, 1990, 1991, Outstanding individual in variety program, 1991), Damon (also executive producer), 1998, My Wife and Kids (also exec producer, writer), 2001—05; (films) Beverly Hills Cop, 1984, Hollywood Shuffle, 1987, Roxanne, 1987, Colors, 1988, I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, 1988, Punchline, 1988, Earth Girls Are Easy, 1989, Look Who's Talking Too (voice), 1990, The Last Boy Scout, 1991, Mo' Money (also producer, writer), 1992, Last Action Hero, 1993, Blankman (also executive producer, writer), 1994, Major Payne (also executive producer, writer), 1995, Celtic Pride, 1996, Great White Hype, 1996, Bulletproof, 1996, The Great White Hype, 1996, Goosed, 1999, Harlem Aria (also producer), 1999, Bamboozled, 2000, Marci X, 2003, Behind the Smile, 2004, (voice) Marmaduke, 2010; host : (TV series) Premium Blend, 2005—06.