Can it be? Is the jolly host of ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ and cast member of ‘Whose Line is it Anyway?’ taking a gritty turn? It sounds that way, as Wayne Brady has been cast in the recurring role of Gravedigger on ‘Black Lightning’.
According to producers, Tyson “Gravedigger” Sykes was a World War II-era military man, who was transformed into a super-soldier after secret government experiments. (Sounds familiar…) Via Deadline:
“After the war, Sykes refused to live in segregated America and instead defected and took his battlefield gifts (enhanced strength and agility, tactical genius, and hand-to-hand combat expertise) to Markovia. Gravedigger’s aim to create a sovereign land for metahumans within the rogue nation of Markovia sets him on a collision course with the ASA and Black Lightning.”
There have been two Gravediggers in DC’s history, and Brady looks to be playing an amalgam of both. Ulysses Hazard was a man who was afflicted with polio, but overcame it with an intense exercise regimen. After enlisting and breaking into the Pentagon to prove he had the skills to do so, he was made a special operative for the government during World War II.
More recently, Tyson Sykes was introduced as an operative of covert agency Checkmate. This Gravedigger gains telepathic powers by injecting himself with Apocritic, a solution made using DNA from Starro, the starfish conqueror. He goes by the designation Rook Alpha.
So while Brady’s character has the same civilian name as the newer Gravedigger, it sounds as though he actually draws more from the original.
Brady is a bit of a jack of all trades when it comes to entertainment. In addition to hosting ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ and performing improv on ‘Whose Line is it Anyway?’, he won five Emmy Awards for his daytime talk show, ‘The Wayne Brady Show’, hosted the FOX game show ‘Don’t Forget the Lyrics’, acted in numerous films and TV shows, including most recently the soap opera ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’, voice acted on various animated series including ‘The Loud House’, was nominated for a Grammy for his cover of Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change is Gonna Come’, and starred as Lola in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical ‘Kinky Boots’.
The new season of ‘Black Lightning’ has just begun. The series airs on Monday nights at 8pm EST on The CW. As usual, the series will take some time off during the holidays and return in January. Brady’s character is expected to be introduced at that time.