During his first set performing at The Improv in New York, Wayans met Robert Townsend, who helped him learn about the comedy Business. Townsend and Wayans drove cross country to Los Angeles together when Wayans moved to Los Angeles in 1980. They didn't speak for a year afterwards. Wayans worked there as an actor. He had a regular role as a soldier on a television series named "For Love and Honor".
Fox Broadcasting Company approached Wayans to offer him his own show. Wayans wanted to produce a variety show, similar to Saturday Night Live, with a cast of people of color that took chances with its content. Fox gave Wayans a lot of freedom with the show, although Fox executives were a bit concerned about the show's content prior to its television debut. Wayans and his brother Damon, Sr. created, wrote, and starred in the show, called In Living Color, an American Sketch comedy television series that originally ran on the Fox Network from 1990 to 1994.