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The following letter, regarding Damon Wayans' sitcom My Wife and Kids, was posted on, where it received 140 signatures:

"To: Touchstone Television

"Re: My Wife and Kids on DVD/VHS

"My Wife and Kids is a show with moral values that covers relevant issues for young people today. It displays a happy family life with loving parents and children and it brings many laughs, lessons and joy to it's [sic] viewers. For this reason, I feel that both the viewers and the company would benefit from My Wife and Kids being released on DVD/VHS. If shows like Dawsons Creek [sic] and Friends can be released on DVD/VHS, so can My Wife and Kids."

All right, so some people have way too much time on their hands, as the above letter so eloquently demonstrates (don't they have some coupon-cutting to do?). But it also confirms that Wayans has done a lot of growing up since he did time in the comedy-star boot camp known as Saturday Night Live. Not that Wayans had anywhere else to go but up -- he was fired, after all. Indeed, he got canned in 1986 for doing a little unwarranted improv, breaking from script by making his straight-laced cop character really, really gay. However, Wayans later admitted he wasn't trying to be funny; he was simply sick of having his hands tied, creatively speaking, and his theatrical insolence was the comedic result. But it seems that a little insubordination can pay off, and it was only four years later that Wayans joined his siblings on Fox's In Living Color. The 44-year-old has been calling the shots ever since, writing, producing, and acting in productions of his own choosing. He even found time to write a book -- Bootleg -- which offers a humorous take on everything from sex and relationships to politics and social issues.

Maybe growing up in such a comedy-oriented family led Wayans to his current penchant for family-oriented comedy. Indeed, since it debuted in 2001, My Wife and Kids proves that Wayans has matured past playing misanthropic clowns and handicapped superheroes. But if you think Wayans has gone all gushy and Robin Williams on us, Bootleg is a good reminder that his solo act is a far cry from his prime-time persona. Some samples, please:

Wayans on race: "When I found out that Steven Spielberg has two black kids, I was amazed. Where did he get these kids from? Were they props left over from The Color Purple?"

On language: "Who went and told Magic Johnson that he should do a talk show? Anybody who repeatedly says 'bassetball' doesn't have any business doing a talk show."

On marriage: "What are the scariest words known to man? 'Till death do us part.' Why not 'Until my car breaks down'? Or 'Until I run out of money'?"

Uh, we're not sure about that last one. At this point, Wayans won't run out of money until there's a petition to bring back The Magic Hour.

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Jason Budjinski

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