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In Living Color

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In Living Color

In Living Color

Category: Variety Comedy Show

Created By: Keenen Ivory Wayans Two Versions of the Theme Song: Heavy D & the Boyz

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 127

Original Channel: FOX

Original Run: April 15, 1990 to May 19, 1994

In Living Color is a sketch comedy television series which ran on the FOX Network from April 15, 1990 to May 19, 1994.

Executive producer Keenen Ivory Wayans created, wrote, and starred in the program. Other members of the Wayans family—Damon, Kim, Shawn and Marlon—had regular roles, while brother Dwayne frequently appeared as an extra.

Description and History

Black subject matter was the emphasis of the series. Many male comedians got their start on the show. Jim Carey (one of only two white members of the original cast) is one example. Other examples are Jamie Foxx, and David Alan Grier. The Fly Girl dance troupe launched careers also. Jennifer Lopez was a Fly Girl from 1990 to 1994. Carrie Ann Inaba was a Fly Girl from 1990 to 1992. Rosie Perez was the show's choreographer from 1990 to 1992.

Live Musical Performances In Living Color was known for its live music performances, which started in Season 2 with Queen Latifah as their first performer (appearing again in the third season). Some of the other music acts who performed on the show were Public Enemy, Kris Kross, En Vogue, Eazy-E, Monie Love, MC Lyte, Tupac Shakur, and Busta Rhymes (then with Leaders of the New School).

During a marathon of the show on BET, Rosie Perez stated that TLC was scheduled to perform on one episode, but when they were told to remove the condoms from their clothes, they refused, and left the studio. Perez stated how proud she was of the girls for staying true to themselves.

Departure of the Wayans

Keenen Ivory Wayans left the show in 1992 after the end of the third season, over disputes with FOX about the network censoring the show's content and rerunning early episodes without his consultation. Keenen feared that FOX would ultimately decrease the syndication value of In Living Color.[citation needed] During the fourth season in 1992, he appears only in the (1992-93) season opener, though he remains the executive producer and stays in the opening credits until the thirteenth episode.

Marlon Wayans left with Keenen. Shawn Wayans and Kim Wayans both left the show at the end of the fourth season. Damon Wayans left at the end of the third season to pursue a movie career though he made a few "special guest appearances" in the fourth season.


Fox started censoring the scripts more after In Living Color produced a live Super Bowl halftime special (branded by the network as The Doritos Zaptime/'In Living Color' Super Halftime Party). During the "Men on Football" sketch, Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier adlibs a suggestion that Richard Gere and track and field star Carl Lewis were homosexuals, much to Lewis' open chagrin. Also, in the originally aired version, there was a simulation of male facial ejaculation using a water bottle and a clever camera angle. These two segments have been cut from reruns and the DVD version. The programming stunt lured 20 million to 25 million viewers from CBS' telecast of the halftime festivities during Super Bowl XXVI.

When airing on BET, most curse words (such as "ass" and "bitch") have been muted out and one line ("drop the soap") was also muted for its implications of prison rape. The DVD version has the language intact (except for the "drop the soap" line from "Men on Film"), but numerous sketches have been cut, particularly the music video parodies due to copyright reasons.

On the May 5, 1990 broadcast, Keenen Ivory Wayans did a take-off on a Billy Dee Williams "Colt 45" commercial (in which the purpose of the beverage is to get your lady friend wasted) that ended with a woman (played by Kim Coles) passed out on her back on a dining table, and "Billy Dee" moving in on her unconscious body to have sex with her. The "Colt 45" sketch was seen only once during the original broadcast. The sketch was omitted from repeats because some felt it was making light of date rape.[citation needed] The Season 1 DVD set of ILC didn't include the "cut" sketch from the pilot. This skit was cut by FOX censors, and the necessary modifications were made to the master tape. But Keenen "accidentally" mixed up the masters, and the original master was broadcast. That segment has never been broadcast since, not even in syndication, on FX or BET. It has been replaced by "The Exxxon Family" (a fake promo for a sitcom about a clumsy Exxon boat captain) in syndication and DVD box sets.

Click here for a great In Living Color video clip

Season 5

By the fifth and final season, none of the Wayans family had any involvement whatsoever with the show. The show's traditional reliance on the character-driven sketches featuring Damon and Keenan gave way to an increasing reliance upon walk-on cameos by "special guests" like James Brown, Rodney Dangerfield, Barry Bonds, Biz Markie, Ed O'Neill, Sherman Hemsley, Chris Rock, and various stars of the NBA. Kelly Coffield, who, prior to

Alexandra Wentworth's arrival in the fourth season, was the lone female white cast member, left prior to the final season. Jim Carrey, David Alan Grier, Tommy Davidson, T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh and Fly Girl Deidre Lang are the only cast members to remain on the show throughout all five seasons, although Carrey's presence during the fifth season was limited due to his rising movie career, while Davidson missed most of the fourth season for an unknown reason.

In Living Color was an Ivory Way Production (until Keenen Ivory Wayans left) in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television.


It was in reruns on local affiliates and on the News Corporation owned FX Network, where it was distributed by Twentieth Television.

Reruns of the show air on the BET Network. Popular Recurring Sketches


Cast members came and went during the run of the show, and new members appeared were added. Note that some older cast members continued to appear in later seasons, so later casts also include some previous year's cast members.







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