This is Damon Wayans Jr. The Wayans Family has produced a bunch of talented people, both in front of and behind the camera. Damon here is part of the 2nd generation of Wayans. He’s the son of Damon Wayans, whom he looks just like.
I first discovered him on the TV series HAPPY ENDINGS, which ran for three seasons on ABC and was one of THE funniest shows I’d seen in years. The writing was perfect, and so was the entire cast. It still burns me that an intelligent comedy like that didn’t last, and yet crap like ratchet “reality” shows and Two and a Half Men get watched by millions. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!?
Anyway, on that show he played Brad, who was married to Jane (played by Eliza Coupe). They were an interracial couple, but the main premise of their characters was that Brad was the more “feminine” member of the couple while Jane was the “masculine” one.
Since that show was canceled Damon has joined the cast of NEW GIRL (another great show that doesn’t get the ratings it deserves…seriously, WATCH IT, people!), playing “Coach.” And he’s just as funny on that show.
I haven’t seen him do a full dramatic role yet, but there have been some serious moments on each show, so I’m sure he can pull it off. I am convinced that with the right breakout role, he could be big. Like an A-list movie star. I’m talking Will Smith in the 90’s. He just needs that shot that will show the audience (& directors and producers) how good he is. Unfortunately neither Happy Endings or New Girl are that vehicle, since they’re ensemble shows. All the cast were equal on Happy Endings and with New Girl that will always be primarily about Zooey Deschanel. And that’s fine, but he needs something where he can take center stage. He currently has a movie coming out, co-starring with his New Girl cast-mate Jake Johnson.
First impression: it’s not bad. It looks like it could be an enjoyable couple of hours, but I don’t see this as the breakout he needs. It basically looks like an extended episode of their TV show, with Wayans and Johnson playing their same characters and getting into this wacky situation at a costume party. I could be wrong, I never would have predicted that Ride Along would be so big and catapult Kevin Hart into the stratosphere, so we’ll see.
Either way, keep an eye on this brother. When he becomes a worldwide superstar, just remember that you read it HERE first!