Throwback: In Living Color

Keenan Ivory Wayans and Damon Wayans created In Living Color in the early ’90’s and it jumpstarted the careers of Jennifer Lopez, Jim Carrey, David Alan Grier, Tommy Davidson, Jamie Foxx, Kim Coles and the Wayans siblings. The show was unique because of its mostly African-American cast and contemporary folk humor. Carrey’s “Fire Marshall Bill Burns,” Damon Wayans’ “Homey The Clown” and Jamie Foxx’s “Wanda” skits were a few of the raw-styled characters that reflected Generation X’s humor. Hip-hop music and culture had a strong presence with Shawn Wayans DJing, the dance routines of the The Fly Girls lead by Carrie Ann Anaba, Heavy D’s theme song and regular appearances from artists like Queen Latifah and A Tribe Called Quest. The show had high ratings and in 1990 it won an Emmy for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series. Despite being a hit with the American public the Wayans brothers clashed with Fox over creative issues which eventually shut the show down. In 5 seasons and 125 episodes from 1990-1994 In Living Color made history by being the first major comedy variety show to write unapologetic humor from the perspectives of minorities and to experience success while launching some of the biggest names in the business. In January 2015 Entertainment Weekly reported a future rebooting of In Living Color with two half hour episodes.