Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Premiering January 11, 1995, the WB sitcom The Wayans Bros. actually stars only two members of that large and apparently ever-expanding family of African-American entertainers. Fresh from their In Living Color success, siblings Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans (who also co-created this series) star as Shawn and Marlon Williams, polar-opposite brothers sharing the same New York brownstone. Shawn was the "serious" brother, who during the first season held down a solid job with an overnight delivery service and was diligently saving up enough money to marry Lisa Saunders (Lela Rochon), daughter of a prominent doctor. In contrast, Marlon lived to have fun, only occasionally showing up for his job as kitchen help at Pops' Place, a restaurant owned by the brothers' dad, John "Pops" Williams (John Witherspoon), a former boxer and R&B singer. Also working at Pops' during season one were counter girl Lupe (Joanna Sanchez) and cook Benny (Benny Quan). Losing his job and his girlfriend at the outset of season two, Shawn set up a newsstand in the lobby of the Niedermayer Building, which also housed his dad's restaurant. The building's main security guard had been diminutive Lou Malino (Jill Tasker) during the first season; she was replaced by Anna Maria Horsford as the corpulent Dee Baxter. Also added to the cast in season two was Paula Jai Parker as Monique Lattimore, a wealthy young lady who took a job in a nearby card shop when she lost her fortune -- and who during her single season on the series provided a verbal combatant for Shawn and an "unattainable dream" for the moonstruck Marlon. In season three, Ja'net DuBois joined the cast as the Williams boys' feisty Grandmother Ellington, who briefly moved in with the brothers. Weaving in and out the proceedings were a pair of shady street characters, White Mike (Mitch Mullany) and T.C. (Phill Lewis). In season four, Marlon launched an acting career and Shawn lost his newsstand to a fire. Come the next season, the brothers' "roles" had reversed: Marlon was now the responsible breadwinner, holding down steady employment as a regular on the TV sitcom "Everybody Loves Everybody," while Shawn was the wheeler-dealer, serving as Shawn's agent -- and skimming 50 percent off the top of each paycheck! The Wayans Bros. proved to be one of the fledgling WB's most popular early offerings, and went on to even greater success in off-net reruns after its September 9, 1999, cancellation.