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"Homey don't play dat!" -- Homey D. Clown
"Mo' Money, Mo' Money MO' MONEY!" -- Homeboy Shopping Network
"LEMME SHOW YA SOMETHIN'!" -- Fire Marshal Bill
In Living Color! Wrote an article 'bout it! Like to read it? Here it go!
Sketch comedy show created by Keenan Ivory Wayans and starring many Wayans Brothers (And the Wayans Sister!) that aired on Fox in the early 1990s. The series is largely known as the launching pad for the careers of Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, David Allen Grier, and Tommy Davidson as well as Jennifer Lopez and Carrie Ann Inaba, who were part of the show's "Fly Girl" dancers.
The series was largely seen as an urban version of Saturday Night Live, which featured hip-hop and R&B musical acts. The series spawned several popular characters, most notably the ex-con clown Homey D. Clown (Damon Wayans), the flamboyantly gay film critics for Men on Film (Damon Wayans and Grier), and Fire Marshal Bill (Carrey), a fire safety official who creates disaster rather than safety.
Unfortunately, the edgy comedy of the series eventually brought down the wrath of the network executives upon it, and the Wayans family ended up leaving the series. The show ultimately was cancelled after five seasons, freeing the show's breakout stars to go on to varying degrees of success in film, tv, and stand-up comedy.
Not to be confused with the funk-metal band Living Colour.
This show contained examples of the following:
- Abhorrent Admirer: Jamie Foxx's Ugly Wanda.
- Camp Gay: Men on Film -- though they also examine books, television, art, vacation...
- Catch Phrase: "Homey don't play that", among many, many others.
- Calhoun Tubbs always punctuates his songs with "Aaahhhhh haaaaaaaa!"
- Chez Restaurant: Chez Whitey's.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Candy Cane towards Jurassic Benny.
- Clip Show: Some best-of episodes, plus an all-Hilarious Outtakes show.
- Crossover: Some of In Living Color's cast members have hosted Saturday Night Live (or have some connection to it):
- Jim Carrey: Was originally supposed to be part of the notoriously awful 1980-1981 season, but was rejected. Despite this, Carrey has hosted SNL twice: in 1996 (the last episode of season 21 [1995-1996 season]) and in 2011 (season 36 [2010-2011 season]; the first new episode of 2011).
- David Alan Grier: Hosted SNL in the 1995-1996 season [season 21] (this episode became famous for a sketch called "Wake Up and Smile," about morning show hosts who turn savage after their teleprompter breaks and they find themselves incapable of ad-libbing) and in its 1996-1997 season [season 22].
- Jamie Foxx: Is the only In Living Color alum to host once (as of 2011). Foxx hosted a season 25 (1999-2000) episode (the first new episode of the 21st century).
- Jennifer Lopez: Hosted a season 26 episode (2000-2001) and a season 35 episode (2009-2010). Is the only Hispanic celebrity to be a host and musical guest for two separate episodes. The first time she hosted had a sketch in which the In Living Color Fly Girls (all played by SNL cast members) visit her and tell her she lost her roots ever since she became famous.
- Damon Wayans: Was a feature player for SNL during its 11th season (1985-1986); got fired after playing a cop character as a Camp Gay (which he would use later for his "Men on Film" character) in retaliation for Lorne Michaels and the writers not giving him any decent roles in sketches. Despite this, Wayans came back to do stand-up on the last episode of season 11 (which was slated to be the last episode of the entire series because of how bad it was) and hosted an episode in another season that was plagued with Seasonal Rot: season 20 (1994-1995 season). The episode Wayans hosted brought back two of his recurring In Living Color characters (Anton Jackson, the homeless wino and Blaine Edwards from "Men on Film." David Alan Grier also appeared as Antoine Merriweather from the same sketch).
- Edited for Syndication: Despite the Wayans' siblings objection to have the show censored in reruns, there have been some cuts done to In Living Color in reruns, particularly on BET, where such misogynistic epithets as "bitch" and "ho" are edited. The DVD version has the language intact, but some sketches have been pulled or edited to remove all references to pop songs (including the music video parodies) due to copyright reasons.
- Also, the first episode originally had a parody of the Colt 45 commercials with Billy Dee Williams (played by Keenan-Ivory Wayans) making his date (played by Kim Coles) drink until she passes out with Williams moving in on her unconscious body. FOX didn't like the Black Comedy Rape punchline to the sketch, so it was replaced in all reruns (including cable reruns and on the DVD) with a sitcom sketch called "The Exxon Family," about a clumsy Exxon ship captain and his wife (played by token white cast members Jim Carrey and Kelly Coffield).
- Film Noir: The Deliberately Monochrome segments with Kelly Coffield as a stereotypical Femme Fatale.
- Funny Background Event: The "Background Guy" skits with Carrey were based around this.
- Hates the Job, Loves the Limelight: Homey D. Clown -- as it happened, The Simpsons episode where Homer became a Krusty impersonator was titled "Homie the Clown" as a Shout-Out of sorts. Krusty also had his own version of the Fly Girls in "Bart Gets Famous": "The 'I Didn't Do It' Dancers".
- Hilarity Ensues
- Hypocritical Humor: Miss Benita "ain't one to gossip", but...
- Just don't say nothin' bad about Ms. Jenkins near her (though that doesn't stop her from gossipping about her either).
- I Want You to Meet An Old Friend of Mine: Jim Carrey and Damon Wayans first met during the filming of Earth Girls Are Easy and struck up a close friendship.
- Jerkass: Homey D. Clown.
- Losing Your Head: The Head Detective, and Fire Marshall Bill at the end of his final sketch.
- The Man: Homey's mortal enemy.
- Music Video Parody: A lot of the music videos (which, due to copyright reasons, are not included on the DVD sets).
- Nepotism: Most of the producers/actors were related to one another. It's very telling that most of the show's breakout stars were the ones who had no blood connection to the Wayans in any way, shape, or form (Jim Carrey, David Alan Grier, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Lopez, and Tommy Davidson).
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: "Impostor", Jim Carrey's parody of "Informer" by Snow. Also Jim Carrey's Vanilla Ice parody, "White, White Baby."
- Race Lift: Most of the sketches that posed the question, "What if [insert celebrity name here] was black?" Also, there was "All Up in the Family" and "East Hollywood Squares" from the last season.
- This was the whole point of Ted Turner's Really Colorized Classics, which put famous black performers (and their shticks) in the place of white ones in Golden Age of Hollywood films. Redd Foxx substitutes for Charlie Chaplin in The Kid, and Billy Dee Williams gets Humphrey Bogart's role in Casablanca.
- Refuge in Audacity: Moreso than Saturday Night Live. Given that Jim Carrey was originally supposed to be a cast member on that show and Damon Wayans spent a year on SNL as a feature player before getting fired over creative differences, the whole show makes you wonder if this is the direction SNL would have taken if Jim Carrey was hired and Damon Wayans never fired.
- Risky Business Dance: A Dead Baby Comedy version, where the Menendez brothers do the dance while wielding rifles.
- Romance on the Set: Kelly Coffield later married Steve Park (the show's first and only Asian cast member who got his start on the third season).
- Screwed by the Network: The series became popular due to its edgy humor, so naturally FOX decided to clamp down on content, driving away the show's creative team in the process and leading to Seasonal Rot in its fifth and final season.
- Sketch Comedy
- Depraved Kids' Show Host: Keenan Ivory Wayans' Homey D. Clown (and later, Candy Cane [Alexandra Wentworth]).
- Take That: The show often made fun of Saturday Night Live for underusing its African-American cast members at the time (such as Tim Meadows and Chris Rock).
- Theme Tune Rap: By Heavy D, no less.
- Token White: Jim Carrey and Kelly Coffield.
- Carrey, of course, becoming an Ensemble Darkhorse in the show's later years and rising to become a superstar in movies.
- In the last two seasons, there were two other token white cast members: Alexandra Wentworth and Jay Leggett.
- Variety Show
- Yo Mama: One of the sketches was a game show called "The Dirty Dozens", in which the host would read off the first phrase of a "Yo mama" joke, and contestants would ring in to finish the joke. To wit:
Host: Yo mama so hairy...
(T-Dogg rings in)
T-Dogg: Yo mama so hairy, Big Foot be takin' pictures of her.