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.
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.
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 still kickin'.
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.
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.
"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.
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 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.
"In Living Color" was a training ground and launching pad for many young people, and with good reason - it was a terrific show. Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, David Alan Grier, Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Ann Inaba, Rosie Perez, Chris Rock, Molly Shannon, Alexandra Wentworth, Kelly Coffield, not to mention the Wayans family, all had early starts here. Most of the people who participated in this show are still working as actors, writers, directors, and/or producers.
"In Living Color" was a series of skits with no boundaries. How could there be, with a restaurant called Chez Whitey, a physically challenged superhero, Handiman, and two gay reviewers, Blane Edwards (Damon Wayans) and Anton Merriwether (David Alan Grier) who covered film, TV, and vacations where they kept returning to Greece. There was absolutely nothing sacred, including Martin Luther King Day and bonfires on black people's lawns in Arizona.
Hands down, my favorite characters were Homey the Clown ("Homey don't play dat") and Anton and Blane as reviewers (who were disappointed in "Die Hard" because the title suggested a love story). The episode where Blane is hit on the head and becomes straight was hilarious. Kelly Coffield did the old film heroines a la Bette Davis beautifully. And Jim Carrey showed the brilliance that would make a film star.
Not all of the skits were successful, but the ones that were more than made up for them.
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.
This is a great show, and quite funny. I have learned that some people would consider this show as a "black Saturday Night Live", and I would agree. An endless number of sketches appear in this show. You've got Fire Marshal Bill (the crazy and dangerous fireman played by Jim Carrey), the Miss Benita sketches (the gossipy woman who saw her friends and said nice things to them, and then gave the home viewers dirty remarks about her friends, played by Kim Wayans), Homey the Clown with his famous line "Homey don't play that!" (Damon Wayans), Men On sketches (with David ALan Grier and Damon Wayans as the two gay men, giving their own opinions about certain things), Anton Jackson, the disgusting homeless guy played by Damon Wayans, Mr. and Mrs. Brooks, the elderly couple played by David Alan Grier and Kim Wayans, where those sketches started out with them chatting with a relative of theirs, and they start tossing insults at each other when their relatives leave. That is a funny one as well. I also love the Cousin Elsie sketches, with Kim Wayans. Cousin Elsie was so funny and did that gross gesture with her tongue constantly. (Be glad she did not try to give you a kiss like that!!!) I also love the sketches of Ugly Wanda, with Jamie Foxx. And, some others were perfect as well. During the first three seasons of the show (1990-93), the Wayans family members made this show quite funny with the many skits they did (from what I heard). But, by the show's 4th season (1993-94), things had changed. The theme song was given a new sound, the Wayans family had all left after the 3rd season (there were some new cast members of the show on the following season who were not quite famous yet), and the new sketches for the last season were not quite as funny as the ones the Wayans family did during the previous three seasons. Some of the familiar sketches stayed in, those being Fire Marshal Bill and Ugly Wanda and several others. But, after the last of the Wayans family left at the end of the 3rd season (I assume in late '93), the humor went out of it, and as I said, some of the newer sketches for the 4th season (1993-94) were not as funny and humorous, which had caused the ratings to go down and by late summer of '94, the show was discontinued. I believe that if the Wayans family had stayed on, the show probably would have kept its humor intact and might have continued on for several more seasons, but with the new cast members and sketches for the 1993-94 season, it went downhill. But think of it this way: The show may have had a short run, but a lot of fun sketches and humor had happened, and it's now available on DVD. I would just love to have this show on DVD sometime soon.
This is probably one of the funniest skit shows since Saturday Night Live. This show featured Jim Carrey before his $20 million a movie paycheck, and with some of his funniest material, especially the psychotic Fire Marshall Bill. This show also featured David Allen Grier and Jamie Foxx (his funniest skit being the wretchedly ugly Wanda) You can watch this hilarious show in reruns on the F/X network.
This show is my second favorite skit show of all time. I remember seeing this show when I was about 12 and 13 just when I was getting old enough to watch skit comedy. It was just great and was revolutionary for it's time as it was the first all black skit comedy show but also was a show that wasn't afraid to parody on some touchy and current subjects like racism, crime, and others which is now kinda common place in shows like "South Park", "Chapelle Show", etc. However other than that this show was just meant to be plan fun and funny.
I love the theme song which is one of my favorite themes of all time, as it sort of has a bit of a hip hop rhythm which I'm normally not a fan of but I make an exception to this. The ensemble was great each were talented and funny in their own way, three of my favorites are of course Dammon Waynes, David Alan Grier, and Jim Carrey, all three just had the most colorful characters and hilarity.
Though of course the most important thing was of course the skits and there are plenty of memorable ones but I'll list a few: Background Guy: This is one of my favorite Jim Carey skits as we are paying attention to Jim's character whom is constantly getting our attention on camera by just doing just a bunch of random things. This is something we all can emphasize with as we all like to be on TV someway somehow.
Safety Guy: This is my favorite from Jim, it's basically a parody on all of the PSA ads you would sometimes see on TV. Jim's character is an extreme representation of that as he is just constantly doing loads of unsafe demonstrations to prove his point.
Men on Film: It's both Damon and David together as gay film critics. It's just funny on how bias their opinions are as they don't like a film because it either is all women or not just enough men. But then again as an old saying goes to each his own. My favorite one is a two parter as Damon's character gets gonked on the head and becomes straight and of course David's character is trying to gonk him so he can become gay again. I know absurd concept but that's why it's all the more funny.
Hommie the Clown: Damon is just great at playing this disgruntled clown that is a dry smart ass, lots of attitude, crude, angry and is constantly rude to the obnochious kids (though of course their adults) and rightfully wacks them with a sock mallet. He just has some of the best lines, my favorite is his trademark line "I don't think so." yeah that what I say whenever some jerk wants me to do something I don't want to do.
These episodes of humor, parody, and satire embodied an essence of originality, pure FUN for all to enjoy with these Master performers of their Comedy for the few years they enjoyed their own production guidelines! But as soon as the GREEDY Hollywood Executives took over the production to get rich on their show and by their rules, the entire show went downhill and has had killed the careers of many talented actors and actresses! Those big FAT ASS Hollywood executives and producers should know when to stay out of a good production before they screwed it up! The greedy Hollywood Moron executives will never learn because they don't know how much more is enough for them to keep their already fat pockets satisfied!
I just wanted to say.. I agree so much with you guys.. first of all .. it is now 2010 and I must say... I still miss In Living Color. It was fresh.. it was these fresh comedians take on things and with the little hints of reality that we all see.. on the streets and in our lives.. it was refreshing to laugh about that stuff. Is it Politically correct .. I am so FReakin tired of Politically Correct (PC) PC is for politicians. Its not real. Its not real life. We should all be accepting of each other but forget the being PC all the time..we need to be real.. we need to laugh at each other some and at ourselves but still be OK and realize basically life is just funny and its OK to laugh at those things we are wondering about in our heads.. that these comedians bring up.. we need to laugh while we can. We need more stuff like this. Unfortunately In Living Color is STILL fresh comedically. We really need some fresh new talent and views with a new show developed from a comedic point of view. Their way of presenting things in a fun and lite hearted and ACCEPTING but still poking fun way... and the style in which they did it.. its still much better than all the things being presented so far. Yes I liked MADTV for awhile...Sat. Night Live is not even funny anymore. Lets pick up some raw, breaking the "rules" (whatever they are.. who knows since its changing all the time) talent. And the fact that they were black.. some people mentioned that white people didn't want to watch it.. well they had preconceived notions about what it was. I think I actually did too (embarrassed here) but once I watched it IT was SO not about that. and it was AWESOME.
I found that this show was very funny and that it was one of the best shows of the ninety's. Though, during the original air time, Jim Carrey started to do the Fire Marshall Bill skit almost every week and oddly. It became annoying. I watch two shows that the two of the former cast members are in. I just love Damon Wayans in My Wife and Kids, and Thats so raven is alright. The characters are moving on and they are finding new things that will make them even more famous. Though, I have not seen some of them since the show. Cari Ann, one of the fly girls, made an appearance on 'He's a Lady' as a choreographer. Keenan Ivory Wayans And SW1, also known as Shaun Wayans, were in White Ckicks, a nonstop comedy about two black guys dressing up as two white chicks. And, we all know that Jim Carrey has had his time of stardom and more. He is in a new movie, Limoney Snicket's A Series of Unfortonite Events.
I have seen the new Season Two DVD and I remember watching the show when it was still on TV in the early 1990's. But one thing that stuck me as odd is that a lot of the music that the "Fly Girls" Dance to have been changed. This was not done with the Season one DVD when it came out, so I was wondering why was it done to the Season Two DVD? Was there some kind of issue with copyrights or something regarding the original music? The episodes just don't seem the same without the original music that the "Fly Girls" used to dance to. I believe it may have something to do with the copyrights of the music, anyway I was quite disappointed. If anyone can offer me some insight into this it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
In contrast to the previous review, I beg to differ with the comment about Kelly Coffield. In my opinion Kelly Coffield was one of THE most talented actors on the show. I felt she was very passionate and even moving at times. One episode in particular showed off her passion when she played a 1940's or 1950's (I'm really not sure) black & white scene waiting for her Johnny. If you are lucky enough to see this episode, didn't actually air until later seasons (Sorry I forget), you'll understand what I mean about conviction and passion.
As for the vulgarity of later episodes/ seasons, I would have to agree they did push the envelope a bit but I believe America was more than ready for the drastic change in entertainment. I mean Mad TV is basically the same thing but with a quieter roar is all. Let's face it they can only attempt to be what In Living Color was. Thanks to syndication we can all enjoy the sweet past of hilarious comedy.
The Wayans are pioneers of great comedy and truly paved the way for some of the talent we are all seeing today.
This show was one of the things that defined my adolescence. I hadn't thought about it until I had heard that the first season of the show was going to be released on DVD. I was so excited and the most memorable and quotable sketches from the show immediately came back into my head. I picked up a copy the day that it was released and I was quite pleased with it aside from its skimpy special features. It only featured David Alan Grier, Tommy Davidson, and Rosie Perez (the choreographer of the Fly Girls) in its commentary. Neither any of the Wayans family members nor Jim Carrey was featured in the commentary and that was a bit of a let-down. Anyway, this is not solely about the DVD.
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 its four-year journey 14 years ago, the jokes remain as fresh today as they did then. However, the Fly Girl dancing sequences are really dated because of their Afrocentric and Day-Glo costumes as well as the dance moves (think the Running Man and the Roger Rabbit) and music such as Digital Underground and Kid N' Play. Its original cast (before most of the Wayans family left by its final season) was superb in every sense of the word. The strongest players, however, were Damon Wayans, David Alan Grier, and Jim Carrey. Those guys evoked the most laughter for me.
Some of the most memorable sketches include "Homey the Clown" (Damon Wayans), "Fire Marshal Bill" (Jim Carrey), "Men on ___" (Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier), "Anton" (Damon Wayans), "Funky Finger Productions" (David Alan Grier and Tommy Davidson), "Calhoun Tubbs" (David Alan Grier), the Homeboy skits (Keenen Ivory Wayans and Damon Wayans), "Hey Mon" (Damon Wayans, Tommy Davidson, T'Keyah "Crystal" Keymah, and Kim Coles), "Benita Butrell" (Kim Wayans), "Vera DeMilo" (Jim Carrey), and the many various parodied music videos from the likes of Vanilla Ice, M.C. Hammer, Michael Jackson, and Crystal Waters.
This show ultimately gives a cross-section of the politics, the fashion, the trends, and the happenings of the time in comedic form. Keenen Ivory Wayans most likely did not know how much of a phenomenon his show would become in 1990, but I think that he knew that his show would reach some people. Boy, did it ever.
`In Living Color' is a classic. Not only did it catapult several comics into stardom... i.e. Jim Carry and several of the Wayans brothers, it also shared black humor with the world. It served it up raw and real. The cultural taboos of society were dissected, ridiculed and sarcastically played out without any reservations. We laughed at the rich, poor, handicapped, gays, men, women, children, religions, social injustices and politics. Nothing was sacred and that's the way we liked it, on the fly and honest. If you're looking for adult humor that is a not stereotypical, `In Living Color' may well fit the bill. If imitation is truly the best form of flattery, today's SNL and Mad TV using comedic story lines and even characters made famous from `In Living Color' is proof. However, I believe there is nothing like an original
I was 12 when this show came on Sunday nights (after The Simpsons maybe, I'm not sure), and this show was the talk of junior high school on Monday morning (I even remembered when they had to change their logo after getting sued by black rockers Living Color who had a similar logo). Keenan Ivory Wayans was a comedic genius and he brought his family and friends to bring us an urban version of "Saturday Night Live". Many careers started from this show (i.e., Fly Girl dancers Jennifer Lopez and Rosie Perez, Jamie Foxx, James "Jim" Carrey, Damon Wayans) as well as many catch phrases ("Homey don't play that", "I'll rock your world", "Hated it", "Lemme show you something!!", and the list goes on).
"In Living Color" made fun of American culture and while there are too many standout sketches to name, one example is a play off of a sitcom called "A Different World" named "A Different Message" (Kim Wayans sang the theme song: "It's a different message/And we'll shove it down your throat!"). Here, whenever a character said a "black power"-type message, everyone around him/her would applaud. You had to watch "A Different World" to get the jokes.
As with all sketch comedies, the laughter didn't last. Actors start leaving (in this case, the Wayans clan) and the hilarity declined with each Wayans' departure. The jokes and the recurring characters were getting old, especially Jamie Foxx's "Wanda" who became more a bathroom break during the course of the show, and the series ended. You used to be able to see reruns on FX, but perhaps due to its dated quality, that stopped also.
-I must say, I think this show is hilarious- They have some great talents- I have recently been watching this on the F/X network and I keep laughing because its so great. Jim Carrey (back then it was James)is without a doubt a comical genius as well as the rest of the cast.