In Living Color OR

In Living Color OR

In Living Color


If you read anything about how Instagram’s algorithm works, you’re likely left wondering: is the color I’m posting actually helping me get discovered?


The series strove to produce comedy with a strong emphasis on modern Black subject matter. It became renowned for parody, especially of race relations in the United States. For instance, Carrey was frequently used to ridicule white musicians such as Snow and Vanilla Ice, who performed in genres more commonly associated with Black people. The Wayans themselves often played exaggerated Black ghetto stereotypes for humor and effect. A sketch parodying Soul Train mocked the show as Old Train, suggesting the show (along with its host, Don Cornelius) was out of touch and only appealed to the elderly and the dead. When asked about the show's use of stereotypes of Black culture for comedy, Wayans said, "Half of comedy is making fun of stereotypes. They only get critical when I do it. Woody Allen has been having fun with his culture for years, and no one says anything about it. Martin Scorsese, his films basically deal with the Italian community, and no one ever says anything to him. John Hughes, all of his films parody upscale white suburban life. Nobody says anything to him. When I do it, then all of a sudden it becomes a racial issue. You know what I mean? It's my culture, and I'm entitled to poke fun at the stereotypes that I didn't create in the first place. I don't even concern myself with that type of criticism, because it's racist in itself."

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 the Fox network's leadership over creative control and rights. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)


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.

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 were mostly White at the time. It was controversial due to the Wayans' decision to portray Black humor from a raw and uncut perspective in a time when mainstream American tastes regarding Black comedy had been set by shows such as The Cosby Show, causing an eventual feud for control between Fox executives and the Wayans. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)




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