Wayne Brady
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Wayne Brady

Wayne Brady
Wayne Brady 2015.jpg
Brady in 2015
Wayne Alphonso Brady

(1972-06-02) June 2, 1972 (age 48)
OccupationActor, singer, comedian, game show host, television personality
Years active1990-present
  • Diana Lasso
    (m. 1993; div. 1995)
  • Mandie Taketa
    (m. 1999; div. 2007)

Wayne Alphonso Brady (born June 2, 1972) is an American actor, singer, comedian, game show host, and television personality. He is a regular on the American version of the improvisational comedy television series Whose Line Is It Anyway? He was the host of the daytime talk show The Wayne Brady Show, the original host of Fox's Don't Forget the Lyrics!, and has hosted Let's Make a Deal since its 2009 revival. Brady also performed in the Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots on Broadway as Simon--who is also drag queen Lola--from November 2015 to March 2016, and as James Stinson on the American TV series How I Met Your Mother.

Brady has received 16 Emmy Award nominations in total, winning his first for his work on Whose Line? in 2003, and two more in the next year for The Wayne Brady Show. All of his subsequent Emmy nominations were for his work on Let's Make a Deal, winning two further awards. He was also nominated for a Grammy Award in 2009 for "Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance', for his cover of the Sam Cooke song "A Change Is Gonna Come".

Early life

Brady was born in Columbus, Georgia,[1] to West Indian parents,[2] and moved to Orlando, Florida, as a young child to live with his grandmother and aunt. Brady refers to his grandmother, Valerie Petersen, as his "mom", since she raised him.[3][4]

At 16, Brady started performing in community theater and at the Orlando improvisation troupe SAK Comedy Lab, where he first started developing his improv skills. He attended Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, where he graduated in 1989. In 1990, he enrolled at the University of Miami.[5] In 1996, he moved to Los Angeles where he continued developing his acting skills.[6]


Brady first appeared on national television as a recurring contestant on the sketch comedy competition Kwik Witz from 1996 to 1999, appearing most often as partners with Frank Maciel. Brady was one of the improvisational theater performers in the original (British) version of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, along with Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, and host Clive Anderson in 1998 when the last season was filmed in Hollywood, after which he became a regular on the American version, hosted by Drew Carey, which was his first stateside television exposure.

In 2003, Brady won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program for his work on the show, the only person to win the award for a television series, as opposed to a special, since Dana Carvey in 1993.[7]

He went on to star in his own ABC variety show in 2001, The Wayne Brady Show, and a daytime talk show of the same name in 2002, which lasted two seasons and won four Daytime Emmy Awards, two of which went to Brady for Outstanding Talk Show Host. Brady guest-starred on The Drew Carey Show in 1999 and 2000 to take part in "Drew Live" and "Drew Live II". On the show, Brady played several games taken from Whose Line Is It Anyway? for the two episodes with other characters.

In 2004, Brady joined the Broadway revival of Chicago, playing the role of lawyer Billy Flynn. He appeared briefly in the final episode of the 2004 season of the comedy Reno 911!. He guest-starred on the Sci Fi Channel's hit series Stargate SG-1 as Trelak, the first prime of Goa'uld System Lord Ares. He made an appearance on Chappelle's Show, poking fun at his squeaky-clean persona.[8]

Brady wrote and sang the theme song for Disney's animated series The Weekenders. In 2005, he sang and recorded Jim Brickman's original Disney song "Beautiful" (a cover of All-4-One's 2002 hit "Beautiful As You") and its Christmas version.[9]

In 2006, Brady became the host of TV Land's That's What I'm Talking About, a talk show discussing the role of African-Americans in the entertainment industry. From August 29 to September 29, 2006, Brady hosted the Fox show Celebrity Duets.[10]

Brady made several guest appearances on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, playing James Stinson, the gay brother of Neil Patrick Harris's character, Barney Stinson.[11] Brady has also appeared as a guest star for the MTV show Wild 'N Out, and lent his voice to the Adult Swim show Robot Chicken.

Brady guest-starred in the CBC comedy Getting Along Famously alongside his Whose Line is It Anyway? costar Colin Mochrie. He has also appeared on the episode "You Don't Know Jack" of the television show Dirt, and also guest-starred on 30 Rock as Steven Black, Liz Lemon's date for the Source Awards. He co-hosted the short-lived VH1 show Vinyl Justice in 1998. In 2007, he starred in the ABC Family film The List. He starred in Flirt, a comedy pilot which was not picked up by the network.[12]

Brady guest-starred as Julius Rock's gifted younger brother, Louis, in the sitcom Everybody Hates Chris, and hosted a singing game show called Don't Forget the Lyrics! on Fox until its cancellation in June 2009. He performs "Wayne Brady: Making $%!^ up" at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada four nights a week.[13]

He appeared on two episodes of Kevin Hill. Brady's debut album was released on September 16, 2008. Brady's version of Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come" earned him a Grammy Award nomination in the Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance category.[14]

Brady started hosting an updated version of the game show Let's Make a Deal for CBS in October 2009, which taped at the Tropicana Resort and Casino in Las Vegas and currently tapes in Los Angeles. The show replaced the soap opera Guiding Light, which ended its long run. The original host of Let's Make a Deal was Monty Hall, who served as consultant for the new show until his death in 2017. Drew Carey currently hosts The Price Is Right, and thus, both game shows in the CBS daytime lineup (as of September 2019) hold the distinction of being hosted by an alumnus of Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Brady was the guest host on the May 3, 2010, episode of WWE Raw, where he was involved in an in-ring segment with Edge and Randy Orton, eventually getting RKO'd by Orton. Later that year, in August, Brady played the role of Tom Collins in a staged production of Rent at the Hollywood Bowl. The production was directed by Neil Patrick Harris.[15]

Brady appeared alongside Let's Make a Deal announcer Jonathan Mangum in two episodes of Fast and Loose, an improvisational series on BBC2 hosted by Hugh Dennis, in January 2011. Then, with Holly Robinson Peete, he co-hosted the 42nd annual NAACP Image Awards on March 4, 2011.[16]

On May 3, 2011, he appeared on Dancing With The Stars as the lead performer in a tribute to James Brown, celebrating what would have been Brown's 78th birthday in the Macy's Stars of Dance segment. He has also been a special guest of Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza on GSN.

Brady made a cameo in the 2011 song "Dedication To My Ex (Miss That)" by Lloyd featuring Lil Wayne and Andre 3000, narrating Lil Wayne's section of the song. He appeared as a special guest star in the March 14, 2012, episode of the TV series Psych.

Brady starred in the 2012 ABC improvisational comedy series Trust Us with Your Life, and returned for the revival of Whose Line Is It Anyway? in the summer of 2013.[17][18]

Brady guest-starred as Don in the Phineas and Ferb episode "Where's Pinky?" on June 7, 2013, and for one week, February 9 to 13, 2015, guest-hosted The Late Late Show on CBS.[19]

In November 2015, Brady replaced Billy Porter as Lola in Kinky Boots on Broadway until March 2016.[20][21]

Brady assumed the lead role of Aaron Burr in the PrivateBank Theatre production of Hamilton in Chicago from January 17 to April 9, 2017.[22][23]

In 2018, Brady assumed a recurring role in the sci-fi drama Colony as Everett Kynes, the administrator of the Seattle colony and creator of an algorithm used in sorting and identifying people.[24]

On April 29, 2018, Brady won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host for Let's Make A Deal for the first time, after seven previous nominations.[25]

In November 2018, Brady began making appearances as Dr. Reese Buckingham on The Bold and the Beautiful.[26]

On October 10, 2019 he was featured in a 30 minute Youtube documentary created by SoulPancake in collaboration with Funny or Die wherein a variety of comedians discuss mental health called Laughing Matters.[27]

On December 18, 2019, he was named the winner of The Masked Singer Season 2 as the Fox.[28]

Beginning in 2020, Brady plays a major recurring role during the third season of The CW superhero drama series Black Lightning as the DC Comics character Tyson Sykes / Gravedigger.[29] It was also announced that he had created a reality competition show to air on BYU TV called Wayne Brady's Comedy IQ, in which teens would be taught skills and compete in weekly challenges.[30]

Personal life

Brady and Taketa in 2015

Brady has been married twice. He married Diana Lasso on December 31, 1993. They divorced on September 21, 1995. On April 3, 1999, he married dancer Mandie Taketa. He and Taketa have one child, a daughter named Maile Masako Brady, born on February 3, 2003. Brady and Taketa separated on April 5, 2006, and Taketa filed for divorce on July 2, 2007.[31]

In 2007, Brady became an official supporter of Ronald McDonald House Charities and is a member of their celebrity board, the Friends of RMHC.[32]

In 2013, Bill Maher compared Brady to President Barack Obama, in that they were both supposedly "not black enough". Brady took issue with this statement, suggesting that Maher should "be careful when [he makes] statements like that" because it will allow his viewers to make the same stereotypical assumptions about black people.[33][34]

As a child, he developed a stutter. This led to him being bullied by other children, which caused a great deal of anxiety.[35]

Brady has suffered from clinical depression. On his 42nd birthday, he had a mental breakdown and later credited Taketa for helping him recover.[36]

Brady is an honorary member of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity.[37]



Year Title Role Notes
2004 Clifford's Really Big Movie Shackelford Voice role
Going to the Mat Mason Wyatt
2005 Roll Bounce D.J. Johnny Feelgood
Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild Reeko Voice role; direct-to-video
2006 The Adventures of Brer Rabbit Brer Wolf Voice role; direct-to-video
Crossover Vaughn
2007 The List Lewis
2012 Foodfight! Daredevil Dan Voice role
2013 Scooby-Doo! Stage Fright Brick Pimiento Voice role; direct-to-video
1982 Alonzo
2014 The Hero of Color City Blue Voice role
2015 VeggieTales: Noah's Ark Shem Voice role; direct-to-video
2016 Todrick Hall: Straight Outta Oz Todrick's Father Visual Album
2020 Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe Stapler Fist Voice role


Year Title Role Notes
1990 Superboy John Episode: "The Sons of Icarus"
1993 I'll Fly Away Damon 2 episodes
In the Heat of the Night Henry Ulmer Episode: "Hatton's Turn" (Parts 1 & 2)
1997-1999 Kwik Witz Himself Syndicated improv
1998 Whose Line Is It Anyway? (UK) Himself 3 episodes in series 10
Whose Line Is It Anyway? (US) Himself Starring: seasons 2-7, 9-; recurring: seasons 1 & 8
Also executive producer (season 9-)
1999, 2000 The Drew Carey Show Himself "Drew Live" and "Drew Live II" (improv episodes)
2000 Batman Beyond Micron Episode: "The Call" (Parts 1 & 2)
Geppetto Lazardo V The Magician TV movie
2001-2004 The Wayne Brady Show Host Variety show
2002 Miss America Host
2003 The Electric Piper Sly (voice) TV movie
2004 Chappelle's Show Himself 2 episodes
Sesame Street Himself
2005 Stargate SG-1 Trelak Episode: "It's Good to be King"
2006-2008 Everybody Hates Chris Louis 2 episodes
2006 Robot Chicken Pegasus 'Sunny Muffin' / Salam Fayyad (voice) Episode: "Adoption's an Option"
Crossover Vaughn
Shorty McShorts' Shorts Cameron Voice; 3 episodes
2006-2014 How I Met Your Mother James Stinson 13 episodes
2007 30 Rock Steven Black Episode: "The Source Awards"
Dirt Henchman Episode: "You Don't Know Jack"
2007-2009 Don't Forget the Lyrics! Host
2009-present Let's Make a Deal Host
2010 WWE RAW Himself
2011 Fast and Loose Himself UK improv; 2 episodes
Are We There Yet? Devin "The Man and the Bragging Snafu Episode"
Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza Himself 5 episodes
RuPaul's Drag Race 3 Himself/Guest judge Episode: "RuPaul's Hair Extravaganza"
2012-2013 American Dad! Cuba Gooding Jr. / Tungee (voice) 3 episodes
2012 Trust Us with Your Life Himself 7 episodes
Psych Hilton Fox Episode: "Shawn and the Real Girl"
2013-2018 Sofia the First Clover the Rabbit Voice role
2013 The Problem Solverz Uncle Chocofuss Guest voice actor
So You Think You Can Dance Himself/Guest judge 2 episodes
Phineas and Ferb Don the City Hall Tour Guide Guest voice actor/Episode: "Where's Pinky?"
2014 Hollywood Game Night Himself Episode: "50 Charades of Grey"
So You Think You Can Dance Himself/Guest judge [38]
2015 The Late Late Show Himself/Guest host 5 episodes
2016 Aftermath Lamar 'Booner' Boone 2 episodes
2016-present The Loud House Harold McBride (voice) Recurring role
2017 Drop the Mic Himself Episode: "Wayne Brady vs. Jake Owen / Kenny G vs. Richard Marx"
2018 Colony Everett Kynes Recurring role (season 3)
2018-2019 The Bold and the Beautiful Reese Buckingham Contract role
2019 The Masked Singer Fox/Himself Season two winner
2020 Black Lightning Tyson Sykes / Gravedigger Recurring role (season 3)
Wayne Brady's Comedy IQ Himself 10 episodes
The Neighborhood Councilman Isaiah Evans Episode: "Welcome to the Campaign"
Hell's Kitchen Himself Blue chef's table guest diner

Video game

Year Title Role Notes
2008 The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon Sparx


Year(s) Production Role Venue Location
2004 Chicago[39] Billy Flynn Ambassador Theatre Broadway
2010 Rent[40] Tom Collins Hollywood Bowl Los Angeles
2014 Kiss Me, Kate Fred Graham/Petruchio Pasadena Playhouse Pasadena
2015-16, 2018 Kinky Boots[41] Lola Al Hirschfeld Theatre Broadway
2016 White Rabbit, Red Rabbit Solo Westside Theatre Off-Broadway[42]
Merrily We Roll Along[43] Charley Kringas Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Los Angeles
2017 Hamilton[44] Aaron Burr PrivateBank Theatre Chicago
2019-2020 Freestyle Love Supreme Self Booth Theatre Broadway



Year Album details Chart positions
2008 A Long Time Coming 157 20 2
2011 Radio Wayne -- -- --
  • 2000
  • 2004
    • "Unsung Heroes"
    • "Between" – Wayne Brady with The Sesame Street Muppets
  • 2005
    • "Beautiful" – Wayne Brady, accompanied on piano by songwriter Jim Brickman
    • "Don't Stop" – Jamie Jones featuring Wayne Brady and William Carthright
  • 2008
  • 2009
    • "F.W.B."
  • 2013
  • 2019
    • "Flirtin' With Forever"[45]

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
2001 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program Whose Line Is It Anyway? Nominated
2002 Nominated
2003 Won
Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Talk Show Host The Wayne Brady Show Won
2004 Won
2009 Grammy Awards Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance "A Change Is Gonna Come" Nominated
2010 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Game Show Host Let's Make a Deal Nominated
2011 Nominated
2012 Nominated
2013 Nominated
2014 Nominated
Outstanding Original Song "30,000 Reasons to Love Me" for Let's Make a Deal (lyrics writer) Won
2016 Outstanding Game Show Host Let's Make a Deal Nominated
2017 Nominated
2018 Won
2019 Nominated
Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series The Bold and the Beautiful Nominated
2020 Outstanding Game Show Host Let's Make a Deal Nominated


  1. ^ Let's Make A Deal, episode May 11, 2010 at 9:23 minutes, Wayne Brady says he was born in Columbus, Georgia, imdb.com/video; accessed January 14, 2018.
  2. ^ "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah - February 26, 2018 - Wayne Brady - Full Episode | Comedy Central". cc.com. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ Brady, Wayne. "A Long Time Coming iTunes Booklet (PDF)" (PDF). concordmusicgroup.com. p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. My mother, Valerie Petersen, the best mother a guy could have.
  4. ^ Walker, Nicole (February 10, 2003). "Wayne Brady". Jet. 103 (7). Brady also credits his 72-year-old grandmother, Valerie Peterson [sic], who reared him and whom he affectionately calls 'Mom'...
  5. ^ "Wayne Brady". Goviva Speakers. Archived from the original on September 19, 2012. Retrieved 2015.
  6. ^ Boedeker, Hal (July 2, 2007). "Joey Fatone, Wayne Brady form mutual-admiration society". OrlandoSentinel.com. Orlando Sentinel Communications. Archived from the original on April 25, 2008. Retrieved 2008.
  7. ^ "CNN.com - 'Raymond,' 'Sopranos' take top Emmys - Sep. 22, 2003". www.cnn.com. Retrieved 2019.
  8. ^ Neal Brennan & Dave Chappelle (writers); Neal Brennan (director) (April 7, 2004). "Episode #2.12". Chappelle's Show. Season 2. Episode 12. Comedy Central.
  9. ^ "Beautiful" from The Disney Songbook album by Jim Brickman and Disney's Cinderella [Special Edition] soundtrack. "Beautiful" (Christmas version) from Disney's Princess Christmas Album
  10. ^ Sullivan, Kate. "Celebrity Duets: We have a winner!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2020.
  11. ^ O'Connell, Michael. "'How I Met Your Mother': Wayne Brady to Recur in Final Season". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 2020.
  12. ^ Dana Slagle, 61 "Comedic Actor Wayne Brady Demonstrates Versatility In New Movie, 'Crossover'", Jet 110.11 (September 18, 2006).
  13. ^ "Wayne Brady Theatre, Venetian Casino, Hotel & Resort Las Vegas, Tickets for Concerts & Music Events 2018 - Songkick". www.songkick.com.
  14. ^ "News » Grammy Nomination". Wayne Brady. April 12, 2008. Archived from the original on May 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  15. ^ BWW News Desk. "Brady, Tveit, Astin And Thoms Join RENT At Hollywood Bowl". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2015.
  16. ^ "Wayne Brady and Holly Robinson Peete to Host '42nd NAACP Image Awards' Friday, March 4 on Fox - Ratings". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. Archived from the original on February 10, 2011. Retrieved 2012.
  17. ^ "About this show: Trust us with your life". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 2012.
  18. ^ Ng, Philiana (March 1, 2013). "'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' Being Revived by The CW". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018.
  19. ^ Boedeker, Hal. "Wayne Brady hosts 'Late Late Show'". chicagotribune.com. The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2020.
  20. ^ BWW News Desk. "Breaking News: Emmy Winner Wayne Brady Will Succeed Billy Porter in Broadway's Kinky Boots". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2015.
  21. ^ Alex Beggs (November 2, 2015). "Exclusive: See Wayne Brady Make His Drag Debut in Kinky Boots". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2015.
  22. ^ Lee, Ashley (January 9, 2017). "Wayne Brady to Star in 'Hamilton' Chicago Run". Billboard. Retrieved 2017.
  23. ^ "Wayne Brady Takes First Bows as 'Aaron Burr' in Chicago's Hamilton Tonight". Broadway World. January 17, 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  24. ^ Carras, Christi; Carras, Christi (April 11, 2018). "TV News Roundup: Wayne Brady Among Four to Join 'Colony' Season 3". Retrieved 2019.
  25. ^ "Wayne Brady - Awards". IMDB.com. IMDb.com, inc. Retrieved 2019.
  26. ^ Rice, Lynnette. "Let's Make a Deal host Wayne Brady will do double duty on The Bold and the Beautiful". SoapCentral. Retrieved 2018.
  27. ^ Comedians Tackling Depression & Anxiety Makes Us Feel Seen | Laughing Matters | Documentary, retrieved 2019
  28. ^ Rice, Lynette. "Fox says he came to The Masked Singer to win -- and he did". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2020.
  29. ^ Ng, Philiana; Seemayer, Zach (October 10, 2019). "Wayne Brady Joins 'Black Lightning' as Gravedigger (Exclusive)". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved 2019.
  30. ^ [1]
  31. ^ "Comic Wayne Brady, Wife Divorcing". People. July 3, 2007. Retrieved 2020.
  32. ^ "Celebrity Friends of RMHC". RMHC.com. McDonald's Corporation. Archived from the original on November 21, 2008.
  33. ^ "Wayne Brady Calls 'Bullsh*t' On Bill Maher: 'I Will Beat Your Ass In Public' For Questioning My Black Cred". mediaite.com. May 15, 2013. Retrieved 2015.
  34. ^ "Wayne Brady To Bill Maher: 'I Will Beat Your Ass In Public' (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. May 13, 2013. Retrieved 2018.
  35. ^ Herard, Cathy. "Dr Oz: Wayne Brady Stuttering Struggle & Rachael Ray Vocal Cord Cyst". WellBuzz. Retrieved 2015.
  36. ^ Bueno, Antoinette (November 3, 2014). "Wayne Brady Opens Up About His Depression: 'I Had a Complete Breakdown'". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved 2014.
  37. ^ "Wayne Brady and Bill Duke are now Honorary Members of Phi Beta Sigma". Watch The Yard.
  38. ^ "So You Think You Can Dance - 2014 Casting Guide with Call Dates". Retrieved 2014.
  39. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Wayne Brady Extends Chicago Engagement". playbill.com. Playbill, Inc. Retrieved 2020.
  40. ^ "Wayne Brady will join the cast of 'Rent' at the Hollywood Bowl". latimes.com. The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020.
  41. ^ Beggs, Alex. "Exclusive: See Wayne Brady Make His Drag Debut in Kinky Boots". vanityfair.com. Condé Nast. Retrieved 2020.
  42. ^ "Wayne Brady talks Kinky Boots and White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, Today, February 25, 2016
  43. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Wayne Brady, Aaron Lazar, Donna Vivino Star in Merrily, Beginning Tonight". playbill.com. Retrieved 2020.
  44. ^ Lee, Ashley. "Wayne Brady on Playing Aaron Burr in 'Hamilton' and Hollywood: "I Feel His Struggle" (Q&A)". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 2020.
  45. ^ "Flirtin' With Forever Wayne Brady Ft. Cat Gray". YouTube. December 18, 2019. Retrieved 2020.

Further reading

External links

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