Shawn Wayans

Active - 1988 - 2009  |   Born - Jan 19, 1971 in New York, New York, United States  |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography by Jason Buchanan

As a key member of what many comedy lovers consider to be one of the funniest families on Hollywood, producer/writer/actor Shawn Wayans has been instrumental in bringing such hit parodies as Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, Scary Movie, and its sequel Scary Movie 2 to the big screen. Though Wayans has occasionally branched out to appear in such non-Wayans productions as the 1999 action thriller New Blood, it's mainly family that serves as this funnyman's bread and butter, with a lead role in the WB sitcom The Wayans Bros. leading to increasingly prominent roles in such family productions as White Chicks and Little Man. Raised in the Chelsea area of Manhattan with his nine siblings, Wayans credits his family's boundless sense of humor in helping him to get by when money was tight and the future looked grim. Supporting roles in such early efforts as elder brother Keenen Ivory's I'm Gonna Git You Sucka and the hit sketch comedy series In Living Color (for which he also DJ'ed) encouraged Wayans to try his hand at writing, and in the following years he would team with sibling Marlon to great success. Specializing in the kind of low-brow comedy that appealed mainly to the high-school and college set, the two Wayans soon found that an ideal way to gauge the success was in how much their efforts offended their mother. When their disapproving mom walked out on Scary Movie 2, the pair knew they had a surefire hit on their hands. After appearing as the titular "females" in the 2004 comedy White Chicks, it was time to shrink his best collaborator down to size for the big-head-on-a-little-body comedy Little Man in 2006.

Movie Highlights

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  • Made his feature film debut playing a bit part in the 1988 Keenen Ivory Wayans’ film I'm Gonna Git You Sucka.
  • Performed on Fox sketch comedy television series In Living Color alongside his brothers Keenen, Damon, Marlon and Dwayne, and his sister Kim.
  • Started out as DJ SW-1 on In Living Color before becoming a featured performer.
  • Has written and starred in a number of popular comedies, predominantly spoofs, with his brother Marlon.
  • Made his directorial debut with the 2006 animated film Thugaboo: Sneaker Madness.