Keenen Ivory Wayans Biography, Family, Career, Net Worth 2023. Discover the life, career, and contributions of comedy legend Keenen Ivory Wayans. Explore his impact on sketch comedy.
Keenen Ivory Wayans Biography
Keenen Ivory Wayans is an American comedian, actor, writer, producer, and director. He is a member of the Wayans family of entertainers. Wayans 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 several films, starting with Hollywood Shuffle, which he cowrote, in 1987.
Wayans was born in Harlem, New York City, on June 8, 1958. He is the second of ten children. His parents, Howell Stouten Wayans and Elvira Alethia (Green), were devout Jehovah’s Witnesses. The family later moved to Manhattan’s Fulton housing projects, where Wayans primarily grew up. He attended Seward Park High School during his teenage years, and attended Tuskegee University on an engineering scholarship. However, he dropped out of school one semester before graduation to focus on comedy.
Wayans began his career in comedy in the early 1980s, performing at stand-up clubs in New York City. He quickly gained a following for his sharp wit and observational humor. In 1987, he wrote and starred in the film Hollywood Shuffle, a satirical look at the film industry. The film was a critical and commercial success, and it helped to launch Wayans’ career in Hollywood.
In 1990, Wayans created and hosted the sketch comedy series In Living Color. The show was a groundbreaking hit, and it helped to make Wayans a household name. The show featured a diverse cast of comedians, including Wayans’ siblings Damon, Marlon, and Shawn. In Living Color was known for its edgy humor and social commentary, and it helped to launch the careers of many comedians, including Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, and Chris Rock.
After In Living Color ended in 1994, Wayans continued to work in Hollywood as a producer, director, and writer. He has produced and directed several successful films, including Scary Movie, White Chicks, and Little Man. He has also written and starred in several films, including I’m Gonna Git You Sucka and Major Payne.
Wayans has won numerous awards for his work, including a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series for In Living Color. He has also been nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album for his stand-up comedy album Keenen Ivory Wayans: Live at the Apollo.
In Living Color, the sketch comedy show he created, wrote, and hosted, blasted Wayans into the national spotlight. More than just a comedy show, it was a platform that gave rise to fresh talent like Jim Carrey and featured takes on race, class, and politics. It redefined sketch comedy and earned an Emmy in its inaugural season. Further, Wayans didn’t stop there. He went on to direct iconic films like Scary Movie and White Chicks, straddling genres and cementing his place as a veritable kingpin of comedy.
Wayans is the second of ten children. His siblings include Damon Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans, Kim Wayans, and Nadia Wayans. All of his siblings are involved in the entertainment industry.
Wayans has been married twice. He has two children from his first marriage.
Keenen Ivory Wayans has a net worth of $65 million.
Keenen Ivory Wayans is one of the most successful comedians and filmmakers of his generation. He has created and starred in some of the most popular and groundbreaking comedy shows and films of the past few decades. Wayans is a true pioneer of comedy, and he continues to be a force in the entertainment industry.