The Wayne Brady Show
“I'm not saying I'm not a good guy, but I'm not squeaky clean. I've been on Disney shows; there's a certain amount of things that you cannot do because of the venue.” Wayne Brady
Emmy-winning comedian Wayne Brady, who effortlessly entertains audiences with his catchphrases, improvisational singing, acting and dancing, was highly praised for his work in the improvisational comedy show "Whose Line Is It Anyway" (1998-2006) and in his own show, "The Wayne Brady Show" (2002-2004).
The versatile performer also has appeared as a guest in “Everybody Hates Chris,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “30 Rock,” and “Chapelle's Show.” He now hosts a singing game show on Fox called “Don't Forget the Lyrics,” and currently can be seen starring in his live show, “Making It Up,” at the Venetian in Las Vegas.
On the big screen, Wayne could be seen in the films "Clifford's Really Big Movie" (2004; voice); "Roll Bounce" (2005), "The List" (2006), and "Crossover" (2006). He will provide his voice in the upcoming computer-animated film "Foodfight” (2008).
As for his stage work, Wayne, who began his career performing in local theaters in his native Orlando, Florida, played lawyer Billy Flynn in the Broadway production of “Chicago” in late 2004.
On a more personal note, the 6' comic has been married twice and has one daughter. After his divorce with his second wife in mid 2007, he reportedly moved on and is dating topless dancer Meeka Onstead, who was an Olympic gymnast for South Africa.
Childhood and Family:
On June 2, 1972, Wayne Brady was born in Orlando, Florida, to a father named Wayne Brady. He was raised by his paternal grandmother, Valerie Peterson (born in 1931), whom he usually calls every night before he goes to sleep. About his own mother, Wayne once told TV Guide in 2001, "I've never lived with her. I don't know her well. She's a nice lady [but] I really don't talk about her."
Wayne attended Dr Philips High School, in Orlando, Florida, where he sang in the school's chorus. He graduated from Dr. Phillips High School at the age of 16 and later revisited the school to perform the impersonations, vocal gymnastics and outrageous creativity that has made him a star.
On December 31, 1993, Wayne married Diana Lasso, but they divorced on September 21, 1995. Four years later on April 3, 1999, he married his second wife, Mandie Taketa, a Japanese and Caucasian woman who comes from Hawaii. The couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Maile Masako Brady, on February 3, 2003. Mandie filed for divorce on July 2, 2007, citing irreconcilable differences. The pair had been separated since April 2006.
Known for his family-friendly image, Wayne loves to play PlayStation 2 in his spare time.
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Originally planning a career in the military, Wayne Brady got his first job as an entertainer at Walt Disney World where he dressed up as “Tigger.” In 1990, at age 18, he began performing in the central Florida theater circuit and performed in a string of stage productions, including the musical “A Chorus Line,” August Wilson's “Fences,” Lorraine Hansberry's “A Raisin in the Sun,” the rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar” and Herb Gardner's critically acclaimed “I'm Not Rappaport.”
He also did comedy work with the Sak Theatre in Orlando and would later be hailed as Sak Theatre's “1992 Rookie of the Year for Theatre Sports/Improv.” Meanwhile, he made his first appearance on television playing a guest role in a November 1990 episode of the syndicated live-action television series based on the fictional DC Comics comic book character, "Superboy."
Wayne subsequently moved to Los Angeles and began receiving more offers to appear in a number of stage and television shows. In 1993, he had two-episode recurring roles on the NBC/PBS critically-acclaimed drama "I'll Fly Away" and NBC/CBS' crime drama series "In the Heat of the Night," which was based on the motion picture of the same name. The following year, he acted in the Disney Channel TV movie "On Promised Land" (1994).
After appearing in a production of "Blade to the Heat" at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles in 1996, Wayne was featured on several 1997 episodes of the BBC improv series "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" He was eventually picked as a regular toward the beginning of the second season (1998). He stayed with the improvisational comedy show until 2006 and his performance garnered rave reviews, winning him an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program in 2003. He was also previously nominated for the same category at the Emmys in 2001 and 2002.
During his hefty "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" stint, Wayne hosted the VH1 musical/comedy show "Vinyl Justice" (1998) and guest starred in two episodes (in 1999 and in 2000) of ABC's long-running sitcom "The Drew Carey Show." He also appeared in TV commercials for Church's Chicken and Bud Light.
Entering the new millennium, Wayne portrayed the magician Lazardo in the ABC TV/Disney musical production "Geppetto," with Drew Carey in the title role, and was featured on "The 52nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards," where he performed a song medley. In August 2001, he started his own show, "The Wayne Brady Show," a comedy/variety talk show originally aired on ABC in which he sang occasional impromptu songs while talking to celebrity guests. Wayne's exceptional talent and ability later won him two Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Talk Show Host (2003 and 2004) and one Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show (2004).
Despite the excellence of the show and the host, "The Wayne Brady Show" was canceled by ABC after only a couple of seasons and they reformatted it for syndication that ran from September 3, 2002, to May 22, 2004, before that too was canceled because of low ratings.
Meanwhile, in September of 2002, Brady became the first African American to host the Miss America Competition. He also appeared in TV commercials for McDonald's, Avaya Telecom Equipment (he was chosen as the company's spokesperson and was featured in its magazine advertisements), Fifth/Third Equity FlexLine, and International Delight non-dairy creamers, as well as appeared in the music video for Luther Vandross' 2003 song "Dance with My Father."
In 2004, Wayne co-starred with Andrew Lawrence in the family TV movie "Going to the Mat." For his turn as Mason Wyatt, Wayne received an Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special.
That same year, he also guest starred as himself in two episodes of Comedy Central's sketch/comedy show "Chappelle's Show."
Wayne returned to stage in December 2004 and completed a run playing lawyer Billy Flynn in the long-running Broadway revival of “Chicago.”
2006 saw Wayne guest starring as a love interest to Tracee Ellis Ross' character Joan on the WB sitcom "Girlfriends" and as Julius Rock's gifted younger brother in the UPN/CW sitcom “Everybody Hates Chris.” He also hosted TV Land's talk show “That's What I'm Talking About,” which discusses the role of American African people in show business.
Wayne starred as Wesley Jonathan's pushy sports agent in writer/director Preston A. Whitmore II's basketball film "Crossover" (2006) and played the lead role of Lewis, a dashing young executive who's been dumped in front of 20,000 people at a stadium on live TV, in the buddy TV movie on ABC Family, "The List" (filmed in 2006; premiered in 2007), which earned him an Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special.
Afterward, Wayne did voice-over work in an episode of the Emmy-winning stop motion animated television series "Robot Chicken" and in multiple episodes of Disney Channel's animated cartoon "Shorty McShorts' Shorts." He was spotted as a guest in an episode of FX Networks’ serial drama starring Courteney Cox Arquette, "Dirt," NBC's multiple award winning sitcom "30 Rock," and in two episodes of CBS’ sitcom "How I Met Your Mother." He also hosted the reality TV show "Joke's on You."
Wayne currently hosts a singing game show on Fox called “Don't Forget the Lyrics!” He also continues to tour the country with his own live show and can be seen regularly at
the Venetian in Las Vegas starring in his own live show called “Making It Up.”
A keen singer who can make up a song right on the spot, Wayne has released the singles "Don't Stop" (2005), "Beautiful" (2005) and “Unsung Heroes" (2004). He is currently putting together his own R&B album.
Wayne has completed his upcoming film, "Foodfight," a computer animated film produced by Threshold Entertainment and directed by Larry Kasanoff, which reportedly is set to be released in April 2008. The movie will also feature stars Charlie Sheen, Hilary Duff and Eva Longoria. Wayne will voice character Daredevil Dan in the movie.
“I'm very happy to have been doing it this long. I look forward to doing it for many, many years.” Wayne Brady (on his career)
Daytime Emmy: Outstanding Talk Show Host, "The Wayne Brady Show," 2004
Daytime Emmy: Outstanding Talk Show, "The Wayne Brady Show," 2004
Daytime Emmy: Outstanding Talk Show Host, "The Wayne Brady Show," 2003
Emmy: Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program, "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" 2003