Keenen Ivory Wayans
In the famously comedic Wayans family, Keenen is considered the Christopher Columbus of the clan, the one who opened the door for the family business. Starting out as a comedian in the early ’80s, his fortunes changed after he became acquainted with Eddie Murphy, with whom he co-wrote the opening skit for Murphy’s classic stand-up film Raw. He then co-wrote Robert Townsend’s groundbreaking feature film satire Hollywood Shuffle before writing, directing and starring in the classic blaxploitation movie send-up, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka. His comedic writing talent was recognized by the burgeoning TV network Fox, who in 1991 gave Keenen his own sketch comedy show—the trailblazing, Emmy-winning In Living Color. Since then, he’s expanded into film production (primarily on projects with his siblings), like Scary Movie and Scary Movie 2, as well as the cult classic Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood.