The Wayans clan is the most successful black family in Hollywood. At the same time, the Wayans were and remain people who did not suffer due to the fact that large film studios do not pay attention to them. They made their way to fame thanks to comic talent and their own cheap original projects.
Supermarket manager Howell Wayans and social worker Elvira Wayans have a large family – from 1956 to 1972 they became the parents of 10 children.
Their second son, Keenan Ivory Wayans, dropped out of university in his second year to pursue professional stand-up and acting. In the early 1980s, he began to get small roles in television projects. Gradually, they began to notice him and give more significant roles. But the real breakthrough came in 1987 when Keenen Ivory Wayans took over as writer for the Eddie Murphy stand-up show, Eddie Murphy Uncut.
A year later, with the support of Eddie Murphy, he creates his own low-budget film parody of tapes in the blackpotency genre – “I’ll get you, bastard.” In this comedy, Keenen acted as a director, as a screenwriter, and as the main actor, and as a producer. Several members of the Wayans family played in this film.
Keenan Ivory Wayans. Shot from the movie “I’ll get you, motherfucker”, 1988
Since the release of I’ll Get You, Bastard, the Wayans have made their place in the comedy world loud. On the Fox channel in 1990, the super-successful comedy sketch project “In Bright Colors” started. It lasted 4 years, became an important milestone in American culture and introduced the world to the names of Damon Wayans, Kim Wayans, Sean Wayans and Marlon Wayans. In addition, it was from this project that such world-famous stars as Jim Carrey and Jamie Foxx came out.
In subsequent years, Keenen Ivory Wayans starred in several crime films (Missing Millions, 1994, Most Wanted Criminal, 1997) and acted as a producer, screenwriter and director in his brothers’ projects, giving them the main roles.
Marlon and Shawn Wayans. A scene from the movie Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Block, 1996.
His youngest brothers Sean and Marlon Wayans formed a successful comic duo, first in the 1996 comedy Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Neighborhood and the 1995-1999 TV series The Wayans Brothers. full-length parodies: “Scary Movie” 2000 (a popular franchise consisting of 5 parts and opening Anna Feris to the world), “White Chicks” 2004, “House with Paranormal Phenomena” 2013, etc.
Marlon Wayans. Frame from the film “Nude”, 2017
The youngest child in the family – Marlon Wayans – now even overshadowed the glory of his older brother. He is a successful producer, screenwriter, director and star of solo projects: “Without Feelings” 1998, “Requiem for a Dream” 2000, “The Naked” 2017, “The Last Drop” 2020, the TV series “Marlon” 2017 -2018
Damon Wayans. Frame from the film “Major Payne”, 1995
Started acting in the 1980s alongside Kinnen Ivory Wayans, middle brother Damon Wayans played his biggest role in the 1995 comedy Major Payne. He also played in the comedies “The Big White Hoax” in 1997, “Bulletproof” in 1996, “Basketball Fever” in 1996. Following him, he starred in the solo television series “Damon” in 1998, “My wife and children” 2000-2005 city, “Lethal Weapon” 2016-2019, etc.
Kim Wayans. Frame from the series “Reckless”, 2014
Kim Wayans has been successfully filmed both in the projects of his brothers and in individual film and television projects. She can be seen in the series “In the House” 1995-1998, “Reckless” 2014, etc. While the oldest brother in the Wayans family, Duane Wayans, is a film composer.
And in the 2000s, the Wayans family was supplemented by a new generation. The children and nephews of the older Wayans have picked up the baton and are releasing successful projects. Actor and screenwriter Damien Wayans (it was he who played the little boy in “Major Payne”), producer and screenwriter Craig Wayans, actress Shante Wayans, actor Michael Wayans are busy in the film industry. All of them participate not only in the projects of their relatives, but also in independent film and television projects.
Marlon, Sean, Damon and Keenan Wayans are the main stars of the Wayans family. Photo source: celebritynetworth.com
This is how one successful and talented brother managed to make his way to Hollywood not only for himself, but for his entire large family. And the family managed not only to use this opportunity, but to develop it. They turned nepotism and belonging to the Negroid race into a joke, and a joke into an expensive, successfully replicated product. Not all of their films and series are in demand, but the emphasis on independence from major studios, collective creativity and mutual PR have been the formula for success for this family for 30 years in a row.
All about politics in the world