Unlike the original Saturday Night Live
cast, the In Living Color
ensemble was definitely ready for prime time. But, was prime time ready for In Living Color
? This subversively funny 1990 sketch-comedy series boldly went where SNL
feared to tread, particularly in matters of race relations and cultural stereotypes. Series creator Keenen Ivory Wayans was hot after his hilarious blaxploitation spoof, I'm Gonna Git Ya Sucka
. But In Living Color
was hotter. According to a "Looking Back" segment included in this three-disc set, it took him a year to sell the pilot. He fronted a young, gifted, and mostly black cast, including David Alan Grier, Tommy Davidson, Damon Wayans, Kim Wayans, and T'Keyah "Crystal" Keyman. "James" Carrey and Kelly Coffield were the white Garret Morrises.
Like the first season of SNL, In Living Color played provocateur, with such politically incorrect sketches as "Homeboy Shopping Network," "This Old Box," and "Ted Turner's Very Colorized Classics." Other sketches, such as "Riding Miss Daisy," have a stick-it-to-the-man brazenness. Don King, Mike Tyson, Milli Vanilli, and Arsenio Hall are easy targets, but In Living Color did not spare such icons as Richard Pryor. There is the inevitable Oprah roasting, but also a brilliant Star Trek spoof, "The Wrath of Farrakhan." Among the first season's breakout characters are Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier's finger-snapping "Men on Film," and Damon's Homey D. Clown. Carrey struts his stuff as "female" bodybuilder Vera DeMilo. Coffey is a scream as Samantha Kinison and Andrea Dice Clay. While much of the topical humor has dated, sketches such as "Michael Jackson Potato Head" are timeless. The fun of revisiting this groundbreaking series is watching these fearless and talented performers go for broke, and make the most of their unlikely opportunity. --Donald Liebenson
Two snaps up for In living Color on DVD! This is the first season of the comedy that crossed every line with their raunchy, crude humor and introduced a new generation of talent including Jim Carrey, The Wayans and many more. See classic sketches Men on Film and Homey the Clown on this 3-disc set that is loaded with behind the scenes extras.