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This show was guaranteed to make you laugh from beginning to end.
Though I feel I may have outgrew this type of humor, it was nonetheless the
funniest thing ever to watch for me, as a 10-year old!
Who could forget Carrey as the Firemarshall, a female bodybuilder, or the dorky schoolkid named Parnell; Damon Wayans as Homie the Clown, Men on Film, 'Mo Money(the thieves w/their own TV show), and the homeless dude who carries a pickle jar as a toilet and uses big words to sound smart! What about the gossip queen, who always ends with something like..."so you 'aint heard nothing from me."
The 3 best: Firemarshall Bill, Men on Film, and Homie the Clown.
Not sure what happened to Keenan, but I thought Scary Movie sucked. The material has gotten more crude(to get shock value) than anything else.OK, I'm not saying I don't like crude humor (I loved Kingpin and Mary), but somehow either its timing was off or there was too much of it, almost like it was forced. Either way, it made a lot of money.
"In Living Color" has always been great to watch.
When this show first premiered it was a runaway success. Not only did it have great writing, but as with Laugh In and Saturday Night Live it proved to be the springboard for several comedians who would make their mark in film and television. Damon Wayans and Jim Carey may have been the most brightest star, but comic talents like Tommy Davidson, David Allen Grier as well as later additions Shawn and Marlin Wayans and Jamie Foxx all got their big breaks by appearing on this show. Unfortunately, like its forerunners when the best talent left, the show lost momentum and went downhill. However, this show will always be fondly remembered as the show that launched so many of the great talents of the 1990's as well as the next century.
It gave the Wayans Brothers, Jim Carrey and Jennifer Lopez (credited as
a "background dancer") a claim to fame...and fifteen years later it's
It seems like lately - since the release of the DVDs last year - "In Living Color" has taken off more and has grown in popularity with younger crowds...however I've been watching it for years, even when it was only on Comedy Central late nights and Jim Carrey was only starting to make a name for himself.
The show ran for four years (from 1990 - 1994) and featured some great characters over the years. Wayans had his clown character who they were supposedly going to make a movie spin-off about at one time, and Carrey had his ageing firefighter ("let me show 'ya something!") who didn't know squat about the job. Used to crack me up so much! My absolute favorite skit was when Carrey played Mr. Rogers and he's browsing through the porn section of a local suburban video store. Comic genius.
I've heard some white people say they have no interest in watching this because it's an ethnic show and was geared towards Latinos and blacks with its early '90s rap music and dancing...but that's really a myopic view of the show and I think anyone who passes it by based merely on the fact that it has a minority cast (for the most part) is missing out on one of the great shows of the 1990s - and probably of all time.
"In Living Color",was without a doubt one of the funniest shows of the
1990's,when it came on Sunday nights and stayed there on that time slot
for the next five seasons(1990-1995). This was in fact the show that
was the opposite of Saturday Night Live,but more hilarious and more
funny than ever before. "In Living Color",was one of the top line-up of
shows that the FOX Network had on during the Sunday night hiatus,and
this was before another hilarious show that came on after it.....the
funny and hilarious as hell,"Married:With Children"...and to that
extent the onslaught of comedy shows featuring black actors in
prominent roles like "Living Single","Martin",and the non-comedical
shows of "New York Undercover","21 Jump Street",and "Beverly Hills
90210",and "Melrose Place".
Getting back to the series "In Living Color",this show was the one that brought open the Wayans empire,and its rise to the top of the Nielsens and brought the Wayans family from their beginnings as up and coming to one of the most powerful show-business families in Hollywood. With this show really featured the entire Wayans clan...Keenan Ivory-Wayans,Damon Wayans,Shaun Wayans,Marlon Wayans,and sister Kim Wayans and others. Not only was Keenan Ivory-Wayans the host of this series,but he also was behind the scenes as well,serving as the show's creator as well as executive producer and CEO in charge of production,which propelled the FOX network to new heights. Almost everyone that was associated with this show was discovered here and their careers really took off because of this series,including some who went on to become big time actors and producers in Hollywood,including some who went on to become Oscar nominees because of this show. From Jim Carrey,Jamie Foxx,Kim Coles, David Alan Grier,Tommy Davidson,T'Keyah "Crystal" Keymah,Jennifer Lopez, Kelly Coffield,Anne Marie-Johnson,Rosie Perez(who served as the show's choreographer of the dancing group "The Fly Girls"),rapper Heavy D,and others that were behind this successful series from the golden age of the 1990's.
The show itself,in my opinion was way ahead of its time as far as the jokes were concerned. I find that even though this show began over a decade ago,actually begin the five-year hiatus journey almost ten years ago,and the show comes closer to celebrating the 10th anniversary of this series. Even with the overall jokes that were presented with a lot of comment about gays,the homeless,golddiggers,and others of minority was in fact very superb in the sense of the word when it came to providing the laughs and the Wayans did just that. In other words,it was just that damn hilarious. No wonder this show is a classic in its own right. However,related to the Fly Girl dancing sequences,they are really spectacular in there day,but it looks so out dated because of the dance moves and the dance craze that was the thing back in the day....The Roger Rabbit and The Running Man,as well as those Day-Glo costumes that were a little too skimpy for TV then,but in all the music they had back then was so demanding,and it was all hip-hop formatted as the dancers sway to the music of such acts as Public Enemy,Digital Underground,Kid N'Play,Salt N'Pepa,Big Daddy Kane,LL Cool J,Boyz II Men, En Vogue,and many more. It also had a lot...and I mean a lot of special musical guests that performed on the show including one episode where they had a special musical guest known as Jay-Z,and no one knew that this rapper would go on to the top of the world after this show and to launch his own empire...Rocafella.
This show not only had the Wayans as one of the funniest families out there,but the rest of the cast were as hilarious as they were,and some of them were just as crazy as they come. Especially when it provided the hardest laughs from siblings Damon Wayans and Kim Wayans not to mention from David Alan Grier,Tommy Davidson,and T'Keyah "Crystal" Keymah,and the wackiest of them all.....Jim Carrey! One of most popular characters from that show was Homie The Clown,who is hilarious as hell and played to the hilt of hysteria by Damon Wayans. He played a character that was so realistic that it had me laughing crying in tears! The other character was Fire Marshall Bill and he was not only funny,but he was extremely crazy and wacko,and no other actor like Jim Carrey could pull this off with such ease and for one the character was one crazy "psycho" S.O.B.,and from the previous comment that I wouldn't want him near my house if it caught on fire! The other character was one that had the censors in an uproar along with several organization including the NAACP that tried to boycott this show,but what the hell,the show went on inspite of the threats made...the character featured two male African-Americans who were extremely gay as hell and they were as queer as they can be,and the characters portrayed by Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier not only provided the laughs and some of it was as funny and hilarious to the extent,but it was one episode during "Men On Film" where they did the unthinkable where the two men really were liplocking on the set when the majority of children were watching the show especially during the Sunday night hour,which had the censors really uptight! But in all,seeing these two comment on recent movie releases was indeed funny within itself,and it was a scream! The show itself did a lot of parodied of music videos and did it ever poke fun of it too from the likes of Michael Jackson,Crystal Waters, Vanilla Ice,MC Hammer,Stevie Nicks(portrayed by Kelly Coffield),Teena Marie,Rick James,Tracy Chapman(portrayed by Kim Wayans),James Brown,and others.
Let's not forget the others like Jim Carrey's Captain Hazelwood,and the hilarious version of the Lassie,where Lassie is a pit bull is so naive that it was funny as hell.
It also ultimately gave a cross section of the politics,the fashion,the trends,and the happenings that occurred in the 1990's in standard comedic form courtesy of Keenan Ivory-Wayans which remain until during the show's fourth season,the changes were about to be made. When the rest of the actors started to leave(in this case,the Wayans clan)the hilarity declined with each departure of the Wayans clan and the show's departure from its Sunday night timeslot to Wednesday nights which hurt the show badly. The jokes and the recurring characters were getting old,but so after that the series ended its five year run in May of 1995. However,the series can still be seen as reruns on FX,but lets face it... they can showed old episodes of Married:With Children during the day,but not In Living Color? Get With It! But because of the dated quality,you can tell that it went straight to DVD where the sheer brilliance of the first season of the series is a joy to watch.
With all the talent that was honed on this little skit show, it's no
wonder that it has spun-off many different smash hit careers. The
'skits' tackled some different issues, that were not made by some of
the past predecessors, maybe harder than they were hit in the past as
well. But the stars it created was many, for example, Jim Carrey, Jamie
Foxx, Chris Rock, David Allan Grier, All the Wayan's Brothers and
sister Kim, Jennifer Lopez, now J-Lo, and on and on.
The shows were fresh, sometimes frantic and always whacked-out humor that sizzled with wit wisdom and a sometimes serious comedic slap in the face! It built up speed, then by the fifth season... it shut down. The problem became, the disagreements with the exec.s at Fox, from what I remember hearing from Keenan Ivory Wayans in a frank interview.
Saturday night live had hit the skids, as far as I'm concerned, and I'm sure millions of other people, who had grown out of that show. This was up and coming, and I think by all rights should still be running as, SNL is still going. I can't figure why it is though, anyway, I love the wit and cynicism, that this show brought out as well as crossing various ethnic and moral and mental lines in it's path. For this was a superb comedy fix that burned the airwaves at night, but 'Cancelled' way too soon. Very sad.
Viva "In Living Color!!!"(****)
This was the perfect Sunday evening show from 1990-1994. It was nice to end
a weekend on a totally hilarious show. Although, this show was based on
African American comedy, it really tried hard to appeal to everybody. And
people who deserved to be made fun of were made fun of.
Jim Carrey as Captain Hazelwood (Exxon Valdez): Everything that Jim Carrey touched turned into a disaster. The coffee maker spitted out coffee everywhere. His wife packed him a quart of whiskey in his lunch box.
Keenan Ivory Wayans as Richard Pryor: It showed Richard Pryor getting scared by eating a box of cereal late at night. You really have to be familiar with Richard Pryor to get the joke, but I thought it was real funny.
Lassie 1990: Lassie as a pit bull brings in a severed arm and Kelly Coffield and Jim Carrey play naive mother and son. They were so naive it was funny.
Keenan Ivory Wayans as Bill Cosby: Bill Cosby was selling condemns to prevent "stupid" people from producing more "stupid" people. It was a parallel to Bill Cosby's Jello Pudding Pops. The Cosby skit was done very well, with all of Bill Cosby's famous facial expressions.
Homie the Clown: All were good, but I especially like the Christmas one.
The show sputtered towards the end, when some of the main characters left and the jokes got old, but for the first 2 years it was awesome.
If you ask me, I think the show was underrated. "SNL" gets all the credit for being a great sketch comedy show, yet there are certain seasons (like the current one) where the writers seemed to have conjured up the sketches in their sleep. In the case of "In Living Color," the writing was always sharp. There are certain sketches that I don't find funny, like Jim Carrey as the female bodybuilder, but it's hard to make a show where "every" sketch is funny. I remember Tommy Davidson said the reason why the show turned out to be so great was because plain and simple, they worked so damn hard on it. Well, it absolutely shows. Throughout each season, the actors always seemed to give it their all, even if the sketches were weak. In a horribly PC society, it's refreshing to watch a show like this (luckily, I have Seasons 1-5 on DVD). A show like this couldn't be successful nowadays, because we live in a society where you can't say anything about anybody. Doesn't anybody know that political correctness is the enemy of comedy? What made the show so great was the writers' and actors' willingness to break boundaries and make fun of all these ethnic stereotypes, and do it in an intelligent and witty fashion. Though it wasn't one of the more popular sketches, one of my favorites was "The Dysfunctional Home Show" where Jim Carrey would play a drunken father. If you ask me, Carrey was the funniest when he was on this show. As far as his movies go, sometimes he's funny and sometimes he's just plain obnoxious (I can't, for the life of me, sit through either one of the "Ace Ventura" movies). In a sketch comedy show, his in-your-face comic style works. I also loved Damon Wayans as the homeless guy. I crack up so much every time I see that sketch. Of course, everyone on the show was great. I can't think of a weak link in the chain. I think one of the cool things about "ILC" was that despite its predominantly black cast, it was able to reach a universal audience. This isn't like some UPN sitcom. People of all races seem to enjoy it. I think that proves that there's no color when it comes to good comedy.
Amongst the many sketch comedy shows of recent years, "In Living Color" stands out as one of the best. In it's first three seasons, it was unbeatable, featuring comics and actors who would go on to distinguish themselves in film and other TV (James Carrey, Damon Wayans, David Alan Grier, Keenan Ivory Wayans). However, after Damon's departure, the show took a pretty swift nose-dive (though Damon was by no means the only reason to tune in). Interestingly, Carrey stayed on the show through it's entire run, even in it's awful final season. There was nothing revolutionary about the show's format, it was just damn funny and extremely well-cast (Kelly Coffield being excellent, as well; the weakest member being Kim Wayans). Along with the recent seasons of "Saturday Night Live," "Mr. Show," "Exit 57," and "The Kids in the Hall," "In Living Color" will stand the test of time for all comedy lovers.
This show was truly a smorgasboard of talent. They pushed the limits and almost crossed the line with their raunchy,crude humor. That's what made this show so wonderful. They poke fun at EVERYBODY no matter what race. It's nice to see that some minorities can poke fun at their own stereotypes without getting so sensitive about the issue. Jim Carrey is a GENIUS. His roles as Fire Marshall Bill,Parnell the super nerdy dorky schoolboy , and the female beauty queen were hystical. And you cant forget Homie Clause and the 2 hoods who steal things then sell them on their own shopping network. I was sad to see this show get discontinued but I still constantly watch the reruns on FX.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Wow. Looking back, this comedy show becomes a time capsule for humor and inside jokes of the early 90's. In Living Color is nothing more than reruns on Comedy Central now, and a reminder of how far its regular comic actors have come. Just look at Jamie Foxx, who is now nominated for Best Actor for Ray. He doesn't do "comedy" anymore as he is now a serious dramatic actor. But in this series, he played various comic personas in different skits. This was like an alternative form of Saturday Night Live, and a successful show on Fox which opened the doors to such other hits as Mad TV, which would only about four to five years later. The Wayans Brothers became household names of comedy, and this show launched their career on film and television. And Jim Carrey first gained attention as Fire Marshall Bill before he was Ace Ventura Pet Detective, or the hero in Truman Show or the character in the more serious "Eternal Sunshine Of the Spotless Mind." Jim Carrey stood out as the comic white guy in a primarily black cast. Also, the then unknown Jennifer Lopez was one of the chorus dancers known as the "Fly Girls" who danced in a choreographed early 90's music. The jokes are best seen as funny for its time- the early 90's. For those of us old enough to remember, and yes some of us were kids or growing up in the 90's and recall every thing in the media or TV- we recall such hilarious spoofs of such news events as Lorenna Bobbit, Heidi Flies the Hollywood Madam, the Melendez Brothers who killed their parents for their money, the Rodney King beating and ensuing Riots and many other things. The comedy in this show was pure hilarity thanks to the talents of the Wayans Brothers who morphed into such funny figures as Homey the Clown...."Homey don't play that!" he would say as he beat someone with his balloon. Kim Wayans as a funny, bum lady who gossiped "But you didn't hear that from me." She would say. A very funny and memorable show. I still like it, even if it's campy or old-fashioned now.
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