Marlon Wayans says his top comedians of all time are Eddie Murphy, Richard Prior, and his brother Damon Wayans. According to Marlon, Damon changed the game, and he was not afraid to sing his big brother’s praises during an episode of Drink Champs. While there, he revealed a little-known fact about Damon, he grew up handicapped.
Damon Wayans got his start appearing in Beverly Hills Cop. From there, he was a featured performer on Saturday Night Live but got fired after improvising during a sketch. SNL head Lorne Michaels compared him to Eddie Murphy and was afraid he would eclipse the show’s brightest star. Wayans and his siblings would eventually find success with their own sketch comedy series, In Living Color.
Marlon Wayans says that his brother changed the game when he played a handicapped bully on the series. In a sketch called Adventures of The Hand-Man, Damon plays a handicapped superhero. His brother Marlon reveals that as a child, Damon had a clubbed foot and walked with a limp. “It looked like a little golf club,” he joked on Drink Champs. “Growing up, he didn’t want to be the handicapped bully,” he remembered. Marlon says that Damon was not making fun of handicapped people but was instead finding the joy in it. “When you talk about things that hurt you or things that happened to you, to me, that’s when you’re really getting great in comedy.”
Damon has reflected on his handicapped jokes over the years and admitted that people with disabilities found his jokes funny. “[Physically-disabled people] think it’s funny,” he recalled. “It’s people who may have family that are handicapped that they don’t take care of. And it’s their guilt that kicks in, ‘Aw, well, you shouldn’t do that.’ Well, you should go hang out with your crippled cousin,” he quipped.
Damon will be back on our screens soon in a comedy series with his son Damon Wayans Jr. CBS will house their program which is being promoted as a father-son series. Damon has not led a television series since My Wife and Kids. Meanwhile, Marlon is back doing stand-up after an Oscar-worthy turn in the Aretha Franklin biopic RESPECT.