Damon gained major notice as an alien alongside Jeff Goldblum
and future co-star Jim Carrey
in the wild and woolly film Earth Girls Are Easy
(1988), as well as in various supporting roles that included Punchline
(1988) with Tom Hanks
and the grim police drama Colors
(1988) with Sean Penn
. Stardom came with TV, however, and his participation in brother Keenan's fast-paced groundbreaking show that truly pushed the limits. It gave Damon a brilliant showcase as both actor and special material writer and he broke out early among the talented ensemble players with his eclectic gallery of characters that often bordered on raunch: Homey the Clown, the disabled Handiman and the outrageously gay film critic Blaine Edwards from the "Men on Film" skits. The talented ensemble would include siblings Kim Wayans
, Shawn Wayans
and Marlon Wayans
. Creative control and financial issues, especially content censoring, led to Keenan abruptly leaving the show in 1992, followed by Damon and his kin within a year.
Although his strongest suit is still in stand-up (he has starred in several HBO comedy specials), Damon went back to steady television employment as star and executive producer of the sitcom My Wife and Kids
(2001). Following the demise of that series, he also wrote, produced, directed and starred in the dramatic film Behind the Smile
(2006) in which he played a green Cleveland stand-up comic hoping to make it big in Los Angeles. He also attempted to follow brother Keenan by creating, writing and appearing in a TV sketch comedy show entitled The Underground
(2006), which involved second-generation Wayans family. It failed to catch on, however, and was cancelled after 11 episodes.
In recent years he has refocused on TV guest work, returning to the series format, however, with a starring role as Detective Roger Murtaugh on the offbeat comedy-drama Lethal Weapon
(2016), based on the film series of the same name. Divorced from his wife Lisa (1984-2000), he is the father of four, including actor Damon Wayans Jr.
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