In Living Color (1990 – 1994)
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Let’s go back to 1990 for this hilarious, ground-breaking show. Below you’re going to find some of the best sketches from the show including Homie The Clown, Fire Marshall Bill, Wanda, Anton Jackson, Tommy Davidson parodies of Michael Jackson, MC Hammer, Jim Carrey’s Vanilla Ice parody and more.,
Fox took chances back in the day. As they were building the network, buying up stations around the country, they delivered different types of show to America. From Married With Children to the Tracey Ullman Show, 21 Jump Street, Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210 and more.
One of the best and by far one of the funniest TV shows ever at their peak was In Living Color.
The show was produced by Ivory Way Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television and was taped at stage 7 at the Fox Television Center on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
The title of the series was inspired by the NBC announcement of broadcasts being presented “in living color” during the 1960s, prior to mainstream color television. It also refers to the fact that most of the show’s cast was black, unlike other sketch comedy shows such as Saturday Night Live, whose casts are mostly white.
It was controversial due to the Wayans’ decision to portray black humor from the ghetto in a time when mainstream American tastes regarding black comedy had been set by more upscale shows such as The Cosby Show, causing an eventual feud for control between Fox executives and the Wayans.
Other members of the Wayans family—Damon, Kim, Shawn, and Marlon—had regular roles, while brother Dwayne frequently appeared as an extra. The show also starred several previously unknown comedians and actors, including Jamie Foxx, Jim Carrey, Tommy Davidson, David Alan Grier, and T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh. The show introduced Jennifer Lopez and Carrie Ann Inaba as members of In Living Color’s dance troupe The Fly Girls, with actress Rosie Perez serving as choreographer.
The show was immensely popular in its first two seasons, capturing more than a 10-point Nielsen rating; in the third and fourth seasons, ratings faltered as the Wayans brothers fell out with Fox network leadership over creative control and rights.
The series won the Prime time Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series in 1990. The series gained international prominence for its bold move and its all-time high ratings gained by airing a live, special episode as a counter program for the halftime show of U.S. leader CBS’s live telecast of Super Bowl XXVI, prompting the National Football League to book A-list acts for future game entertainment, starting with Michael Jackson the following year.
In 2018, a history of the show, Homey Don’t Play That! by David Peisner, was released by 37 INK, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
Source: Sal Amato