New York-born Damon Wayans was the third of ten children born to a grocery store manager and a social worker and grew up humbly in the Fulton Housing Projects. Dropping out of high school in the ninth grade, he worked various jobs until following older brother Keenen out to Hollywood to seek comedy fame and fortune. Hitting the L.A. stand-up scene in 1982, he toured in national comedy club circuits until earning a regular featured slot on “Saturday Night Live”.
Damon gained major notice as an alien alongside Jeff Goldblum and future co-star Jim Carrey in Earth Girls Are Easy (1988), as well as in various supporting roles that included Punchline (1988) with Tom Hanks and the grim cop drama Colors (1988) with Sean Penn. Smart-alec superstardom, however, came to him via the TV in the form of the landmark sketch variety series “In Living Color”. The show, created and hosted by Keenen, gave Damon a showcase in which he easily broke out among the talented ensemble players with his eclectic gallery of sketch characters including: Homey the Clown and the outrageous film critic Blaine Edwards from the “Men on Film” skits.
He was Bruce Willis’ partner in the crime thriller The Last Boy Scout (1991); wrote, executive-produced and starred as a former con man trying to mend his ways in Mo’ Money (1992), which also featured younger brother Marlon Wayans; expanded his “In Living Color” handicapped superhero character Handiman into feature-length form with Blankman (1994); played an in-your-face drill sergeant in the aptly titled Major Payne (1995); co-starred with Adam Sandler as a cop bringing in a petty crook (Adam Sandler) in the action comedy Bulletproof (1996); joined in the basketball-themed Celtic Pride (1996); and stretched his acting muscles in Spike Lee’s comedy-drama Bamboozled (2000). He was also executive producer on “Waynehead” (1996), a Saturday morning animated show based on his childhood that featured the voices of younger sibs Kim Wayans, Marlon and Shawn Wayans. Damon starred and executive produced the sitcom “My Wife and Kids” from 2001-2005. His strongest suit is still considered to be stand-up having been a touring comedian for over 20 years.