Keenen Ivory Wayans - Rotten Tomatoes

Keenen Ivory Wayans

Highest Rated:   89% Star 80 (1983)
Lowest Rated:   0% A Low Down Dirty Shame (1994)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   New York, New York, USA
The second-oldest child of the Wayans Brothers comic dynasty (brother of Damon, Marlon, Shawn, Kim, and Dwayne Wayans), "renaissance" man Keenen Ivory Wayans retains the highest profile among his siblings as a director and entrepreneur, and claims a brief but spectacular career, which qualifies him as a bona fide role model to young African-Americans interested in carving like paths in comedy or entertainment. A graduate of the Tuskegee Institute, Wayans entered the comic arena in the mid-'80s by stepping up to the mike and honing his stand-up act, but he later branched out into movies, by scripting the low-budget black satire Hollywood Shuffle (1987) and the aptly-titled comedy vehicle Eddie Murphy: Raw (1987), both for director pal Robert Townsend. Wayans broke through to a larger audience with I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988), a rollicking parody of 1970s blaxploitation flicks which he directed, produced, and starred in -- as Jack Spade, a black war vet who heads home to the ghetto, only to discover that his brother Junebug died from an "OG" (or overdose of gold chains). For credibility and weight, Wayans intuitively cast blaxploitation vets Isaac Hayes, Bernie Casey, and Jim Brown in leading roles; the film also features Chris Rock's debut. In 1988, Wayans created, produced, and starred in the Fox network's iconoclastic, influential, cutting-edge comedy-variety series In Living Color, which not only made "Wayans" a household name (synonymous with African-American comedy), but also solidified the stardom of comedians Jamie Foxx and the rubber-faced Jim Carrey (who, with his Fire Marshall Bill character, appeared as the ensemble's obligatory white schmuck). A dispute over the show erupted between Wayans and Fox in late 1992, as Wayans felt that the network was overrunning In Living Color in syndication; he argued that it would reduce the program's longevity. Yet Fox refused to back down. Consequently, the whole Wayans family left the program, leaving Jim Carrey center stage. In Living Color lasted two additional seasons, and wrapped in late summer 1994. For several years, Wayans retained a low profile (save limited involvement with straight-faced actioners like The Glimmer Man), but bounced back in 2000 with the multimillion-dollar box-office champion Scary Movie. Initially a parody of Wes Craven's Scream series, the film spawned three sequels, in 2001, 2003, and 2006 respectively; Wayans abandoned the franchise after Scary Movie 2, by which point, the films had expanded their satirical scope to include non-horror pictures and other elements of popular culture. In 2004, Wayans directed the farce White Chicks, about two black FBI agents, Marcus and Kevin (played respectively by the director's brothers, Marlon and Shawn), who disguise themselves as Caucasian sorority girls to foil a kidnapping plot. Despite scattered favorable notices, most critics despised the picture (Roger Ebert remarked, "Here is a film so dreary and conventional that it took an act of will to keep me in the theater"), but it soared at the box and became one of the top grossers for several weekends. The three brothers re-teamed for a follow-up (as co-producers and co-screenwriters, with Keenen directing) for the crass 2006 comedy Little Man, a kind of Clifford remake that revamps the adult-in-the-child's-body concept. Marlon plays a dwarf criminal, Calvin, who -- in an effort to retrieve a diamond he has stolen -- takes advantage of his size by masking himself as a baby and hiding out in the home of a wannabe dad (Shawn Wayans).

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
18% Dance Flick
  • Mr. Stache
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
$25.7M 2009
No Score Yet The Black List: Volume One
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet A Boo Crew Christmas Special
  • Executive Producer
2007
12% Little Man
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
$58.3M 2006
No Score Yet Thugaboo
  • Actor
2006
15% White Chicks
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Producer
$69.2M 2004
15% Scary Movie 2
  • Director
2001
53% Scary Movie
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Slave
2000
16% Most Wanted
  • Executive Producer
  • Producer
  • Sgt. James Dunn
  • Screenwriter
1997
13% The Glimmer Man
  • Det. Jim Campbell
1996
32% Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in The Hood
  • Mailman
  • Producer
1996
0% A Low Down Dirty Shame
  • Director
1994
35% The Five Heartbeats
  • Screenwriter
1991
64% I'm Gonna Git You Sucka
  • Jack Spade
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1988
81% Eddie Murphy Raw
  • Screenwriter
1987
89% Star 80
  • Comic
1983
88% Hollywood Shuffle
  • Donald/Jerry Curl
  • Screenwriter
1982

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr.
2012
  • Appearing
  • 2016
No Score Yet Last Comic Standing
2003-2015
  • Judge
  • 2015
  • 2014
No Score Yet The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
2014
  • Guest
  • 2014
50% Happily Divorced
2011-2013
  • Tony
  • 2013
No Score Yet Inside Comedy
2012-2015
  • Guest
  • 2013
No Score Yet Real Husbands of Hollywood
2013
  • Actor
  • 2013
No Score Yet The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
1992-2014
  • Guest
  • 2001
  • 2000
No Score Yet Cheers
1982-1993
  • Guest
  • Customer No. 1
  • 1982

Quotes from Keenen Ivory Wayans' Characters