Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Modern Classic: In Living Color (1990)

Launched as a spring replacement series in April 1990, In Living Color was an instant hit for Fox, and would be part of the network's Sunday lineup for 4 years (5 seasons).

Following the success of "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka", Keenan Ivory Wayans was approached by Fox suits about developing his own show. He envisioned Color as an urban version of Saturday Night Live, albeit with more of a hip hop beat. It was a family affair, too, with brothers Marlon, Damon, & Shawn, and sister Kim joining the fun. The series also launched the careers of Jamie Foxx, Rosie Perez, Jennifer Lopez, & Carrie Ann Inaba, among others. Perez, before turning to acting, was the choreographer for the Fly Girls troupe, which featured Inaba and Lopez. Jim Carrey (ex-The Duck Factory) resurrected his career thanks to Color, and left after the 4th season.

Currently, cable rights for the series are held by BET/Centric (check listings), and, as FX did before them, episodes are usually run in a hour-long block or more. However, some of the material is dated due to current events of the period, such as the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill scandal. On the other hand, the first skit in this sample episode actually foreshadows some current events of today........

We previously featured the East Hollywood Squares skit, which featured original Hollywood Squares host Peter Marshall. He wasn't the only one to contribute to a parody. The late Ray Combs, at the time the emcee of Family Feud, was similarly brought in for skits related to that series.

Rating: B.

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