In Living Color

From Academic Kids

In Living Color was an American sketch comedy television series which ran on the Fox Television Network from 1990 to 1994. Executive producer Keenen Ivory Wayans created, wrote, and starred in the program.

Other members of the Wayans family — Damon, Kim, Marlon, and Shawn — had regular roles (oldest brother Dwayne frequently appeared as an extra), in addition to David Alan Grier, an established character actor who had worked in Keenen Ivory Wayans' motion picture I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988).

The series strove to produce comedy with a strong emphasis on African American subject matter. However, In Living Color may be best-known as the launching pad for Jim Carrey (the one male Caucasian member of the original cast, edging Thomas Haden Church in the audition process), future Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx (who joined the cast in the third season), and future actress/singer Jennifer Lopez (who became a "Fly Girl" in the third season).

Keenen Ivory Wayans left the show in the middle of the fourth season over disputes with Fox about the network's censoring the show's content and rerunning early episodes without his consultation. Keenen feared that Fox would ultimately decrease the syndication value of In Living Color.

On the censorship issue, Fox became more intrusive of the scripts after In Living Color produced a live Super Bowl halftime special, branded by the network as The Doritos Zaptime/'In Living Color' Super Halftime Party). During the "Men on Football" sketch, it was suggested by Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier through adlibs that actor Richard Gere and track and field star Carl Lewis were gay much to Lewis' open chagrin. The programming stunt lured a hefty 20 million to 25 million viewers from CBS' telecast of the halftime festivities during Super Bowl XXXVI.


Contents

Popular recurring sketches

  • Homie D. Clown (Damon Wayans) - A convict who works as a clown for his parole agreement, but violently lashes out at any attempt to make him perform the standard antics of the role - "I don't think so...Homie don't play that!"
  • The Buttmans - A family modeled after The Cosby Show characters, only they have buttocks on their foreheads
  • Fire Marshall Bill (Jim Carrey) - A Fire Marshall with a manic grin whose safety advisories usually cause the very disaster he was warning against.
  • Star Trek - Jim Carrey plays a hilarious version of Captain Kirk, complete with grossly exaggerated mannerisms
  • Men on Film (Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier)- In this parody of Siskel & Ebert, a pair of extremely effeminate gay men review films completely based on their potential for homoerotic content. - "Hated It!", "Three snaps in Z formation, the Zorro snap."
  • Wanda - Jamie Foxx portrays the ugliest woman in the world... so ugly, in fact, that no one wanted to be in the same room as she.
  • Homeboy Shopping Network - two streetwise pitchmen (Damon and Keenan Ivory Wayans) use a QVC-style approach to sell stolen goods.
  • The Brothers Brothers (Damon and Keenen Ivory Wayans) - two brothers named Tom who sing like the Smothers Brothers (who actually lend their uncredited singing voices) and are often confused for being black.
  • Funky Finger Productions (also called "B.S. Brothers") - two men (David Alan Grier and Tommy Davidson) with a knack of being at the right place for promotion, but with little promotional experience. Their pitches are punctuated with the occasional "BAM!" that later became the trademark of TV chef Emeril Lagasse.
  • "The Dirty Dozens" - Stu Dunfy (Nick Bakay) hosts a game show that is a cross between Jeopardy and Concentration in which contestants are involved in a battle of insults.
  • Handiman - Damon Wayans portrays a handicapped superhero.
  • Vera de Milo - Jim Carrey portrays a steroids-using, flat-chested female bodybuilder whose trademark laugh sounds horselike.

Cast

Cast members came and went during the run of the show, and new members appeared in new seasons. Note that some older cast members continued to appear in later seasons, so later casts also include some of previous casts' members.

Original cast (First and Second Seasons, 1990-1991)

Third Season (1991-1992) cast additions

Fourth Season (1992-1993) cast additions

Fifth Season (1993-1994) cast additions


Despite popular belief, Chris Rock was never an official cast member on In Living Color. Rock appeared (as a "special guest star") only in a selected number of skits in the Fifth Season, and reprised his petty, cheapskate character from I'm Gonna Git You Sucka.

Other recurring guest stars in the Fifth Season include Nick Bakay (for "The Dirty Dozens" sketches) and Peter Marshall (for several editions of "East Hollywood Squares").

Fly Girls (house dance troop)

Over the run of the series, several individuals -- both male and female -- made uncredited appearances as unofficial "Fly Girls."

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