Now, two-time-Emmy-nominated Brady brings those same talents and more to a new syndicated talk/variety show for Buena Vista Television, which was launched on September 2, 2002. In addition, Wayne made history as the first African American to ever host the Miss America Competition in September of 2002.
By the age of 16, Orlando native Wayne Brady had no plans of pursuing a career in entertainment. Little did he know that his chance performance in a high school play would garner rave reviews and permanently alter his long-range plans. While in Florida, Brady immersed himself in the central Florida theater community, performing in numerous stage productions, including "A Chorus Line," "Fences," "A Raisin in the Sun," "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "I'm Not Rappaport." He then moved to Los Angeles and performed at the prestigious Mark Taper Forum in its production of "Blade to the Heat," and made television guest appearances on series such as "I'll Fly Away," "Home Court" and "In the Heat of the Night."
Wayne also starred in and produced "The Wayne Brady Show," a primetime variety show for ABC in 2001. He was also series regular on the syndicated sketch comedy show "Kwik Witz" for two seasons, and hosted the VH-1 comedy series, "Vinyl Justice," KABC's "Countdown to the American Music Awards," and was seen opposite Drew Carey in ABC's "Gepetto." Wayne also brought the house down in an appearance at the 2nd Annual TV Guide Awards.
In fact, the actor was so well received by the industry, that the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences invited Wayne to perform solo at the 52nd Annual Emmy Awards in September 2000. The musical medley, which spoofed many of the seasons' top shows, including "The Sopranos" and "Survivor," was a hit, and as one critic said of the performance, "Brady Out-Crystaled Billy Crystal."
Wayne scored a second Emmy Award nomination in 2002 for his work on "Whose Line is it Anyway" in the category of Best Individual Performance in a Variety or Musical. He has received several other accolades for his work in theater, including nominations for Best Actor in a Musical for "Cotton Patch Gospel" at the distinguished Edyth Bush Theatre. Wayne was also named Sak Theatre's 1992 Rookie of the Year for Theatre Sports/Improv.
He continues to tour the country with his own improv show, "Wayne Brady and Friends," selling out the nations top theaters and venues. In addition, he and his wife Mandie recently opened a four-week run of the stage production, "The Only Game in Town" in Los Angeles. The Daily Variety called Wayne's performance as compulsive gambler Joe Grady "an absolute winner."