Keenen Ivory Wayans is an exemplary actor, comedian, writer and director who was born in New York City in 1958. He grew up in the Fulton housing projects in Manhattan with his parents and siblings. Keenen attended Tuskegee University where he was privileged to be issued with an engineering scholarship. He however dropped out of college just before graduation to follow his dream of becoming a comedian.
Keenen met Robert Townsend while performing at a comedy club in New York and Townsend helped him learn the ropes with regard to the comedy business. In 1980 he moved to Los Angeles where he managed to score a role on a TV series known as ‘For Love and Honor’. He co-wrote his first movie Hollywood Shuffle with Robert Townsend and it was satirical a portrayal of the lives of African Americans which he also starred in. From the proceeds of the movie he was able to write, direct and star in the movie ‘I’m Gonna Git You Sucka’
Keenen gained commercial prominence when he became the co-creator and host and of the acclaimed sketch comedy series known as In Living Color which lasted several seasons from 1990 to 1994. Fox Broadcasting Company which aired the show gave Keenen and his brother Damon plenty of creative freedom which resulted in daring sketches that often pushed the envelope.
Keenen went on to produce, write or direct some of the biggest grossing films including Scary Movie, which once held the record for the highest grossing film by an African American. He often includes his siblings in the cast of his movies making the Wayans’ one of the most prominent families in the entertainment industry.
Keenen is most recently known for his appearance as a judge on the 8th season of the Last Comic Standing.