Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thursday Thirteen # 19 - In Praise of “In Living Color” – Thirteen Characterizations on the Show

On April 15, 1990 'In Living Color' premiered on the Fox network. This landmark series was created, written, and executive produced by Keenan Ivory Wayans, who also starred on the show. This sketch comedy helped to launch the career of Jim Carrey, David Alan Grier, Tommy Davison, and later Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Ann Inaba (Dancing With the Stars) as well as the talented Wayans clan.

From the very beginning regular viewers knew the show would controversial, innovative, and dare I say something that had never been seen before on network television. The show made you think by poking fun at some serious and not so serious topics. From the theme song by Heavy D to the dances choreographed by Rosie Perez and performed by “The Fly Girls” the show was an absolute winner. In tribute of the eighteen year anniversary, I would like to remember and share some of the characterizations introduced on the show.

1. Fire Marshall Bill – Jim Carrey is the inept fire marshal, who starts more fires than he extinguishes.

2. Benita Betrell – Kim Wayans portrays neighborhood gossips who know and tells all.

3. Hey Mon – The Headley’s are a Jamaican family that believes work the most important priority. Father has fifteen jobs, while mother has 9 jobs besides her housework.

4. Snaky Shack – The restaurant where you will find the menus right next to the roach motel.

5. Homeboy Shopping Network – Keenan and Damon Wayans as Wiz and the Ice Man who attempt to sell stolen goods to the consumer.

6. Antoine – The bum who is a victim of society and an entertainer.

7. Cephus and Ressie Maywether – No singing, jheri curl wearing, wannabe entertainers.


8. Bob Jackson – Jim Carrey portrays the black belt who runs a self-defense class for women.

9. Jheri’s Kids – Jim Carrey as Jheri Lewis, an entertainer who holds telethons to stamp out jheri curl syndrome.

10. Go On Girl! - T'Keyah Crystal Keymah portrays author and talk show host Shawanda Harvey.

1. I Write A Fast Song – Kim Wayans does a send up of singer Tracey Chapman, who looks out the window and “write a fast song” about the happenings in the neighborhood.

2. Homey the Clown – Damon Wayans plays the disgruntled clown who always utters the catch phrase “Homey don’t play that”.

3. Men on Films, Art, Books – Blaine Edwards and Antoine Meriwether are two gay critics who give their view on the latest offerings in the world of art.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Tink said...

I'm afraid I have never seen it, but I liked the video's nevertheless!
My TT is about reiki.

Anonymous said...

Two shakes and a can't touch this! (that's the first thing I thought of when I saw 'Men on Film' on your site)

As a kid in high school when this show was popular, you can imagine that we were always quoting this show. Great trip down memory lane!

Holly said...

I'll have to admit I have never seen the show. But it's always interesting when people post about things we don't know about - we learn something.



anthonynorth said...

Coming from the UK, I've never seen this, but it looks good.

SJ Reidhead said...

I've never seen it, but then I'm on a science binge this season.

The Pink Flamingo

Linda R. Moore said...

I never heard of that show, but it sounds a bit like "Not the Nine o'clock News" in the UK...

I have two TTs this week.

How to ride 95 miles while doing one's taxes

13 favorite photos of the day for March. Pick your favorite :)

Malcolm said...

In Living Color is my all-time favorite sketch comedy show! Those Snaky Shack and Anton the bum skits were so nasty, but funny at the same time. Cephus and Ressie took having no talent to a whole new depth.

pjazzypar said...

tink, Thanks for visiting.

thrivingat30, Blaine Edwards and Antoine Meriwether (Men On Film) were a trip. I just noticed something recently. Carrie Ann Inaba (Dancing With The Stars) was once a Fly Girl on the show.

Holly, I know you watch "Dancing With The Stars". Carrie Ann Inaba was a dancer on "In Living Color" and it definitely is not the type of dancing that she now judges.

anthonynorth, I am surprised that the show did not telecast in the UK. Thanks for stopping by.

sjreidhead, It's not a new show. It came on from 1990 until 1995.

lindarmoore, thanks for stopping by.

malcolm, It's my favorite also. I am amazed at how many people have never seen it. Well Que Sera. I was always a fan of Kim Wayans and found the characters she played were out and out hilarious.

On a limb with Claudia said...

I loved loved loved this show! I was so sad when they took it off the air. It's a real breath of fresh air - of course that's probably why it's off the air.... grrr.

Happy TT!

SandyCarlson said...

This sounds awesome, and I'm sorry I've been so out of the loop that I've never heard of it before. There's some talent there, too!

The Gal Herself said...

I didn't know Carrie Ann was on that show! Though wouldn't it be great to see Bruno join that duo on "Men on Film?" (Thanks for visiting my TT)

Adelle said...

I've heard of this, but never saw it. Sounds like a hoot though. Happy T13!

siteseer said...

Joining the ranks of never seen it. I am not the controller of the controller in our house.
Happy TT

Lori said...

I never watched it but it looks like a crack up:) Happy TT.

The Happy Housewife said...

I loved that show!
I Write A Fast Song – Kim Wayans does a send up of singer Tracey Chapman, who looks out the window and “write a fast song” about the happenings in the neighborhood.- was my favorite!
Happy TT~

forgetfulone said...

Homey don't play that was my favorite line.

Sue said...

It has really been that long ago! Wow! I remember that show when it first started like yesterday. :) Excellent tribute to a fun and innovative show!

Happy TT and thanks so much for stopping by :)

marcia said...

Oh I have never seen it but it looks funny

marcia said...

thanks for your cute comments

X. Dell said...

The show was controversial for good reason. While often funny, and spot-on in its humor, it was very uneven. I agree with Spike Lee's criticisms of the show. But whether or not people like it is perhaps the major issue.

Candy Minx said...

Your list this week brought many laughs and fond memories of this is really amazing how much humour and talent was on this program. I had forgotten Carrie Ann Inaba was one of the flygirls!

Terrific list...

Here is mine, I'm late today:

Chris said...

I loved that show! Happy TT

Cindy Swanson said...

You're right..."In Living Color" was hilarious. Outrageous and over-the-top sometimes, but definitely hilarious! My sister rented some of the DVD's not long ago, and we had a blast watching them...I had forgotten just how funny the show was.

Jay said...

In Living Color was hilarious. I loved that show.

Ontario Emperor said...

I was reading FriendFeed and saw a mention of Tracy Chapman, and IMMEDIATELY thought of the Kim Wayans bit that you mentioned. I remember at the time that the huge amount of Wayans all over the place was lampooned - the Onion subsequently wrote a piece alleging that a Wayans TV channel was being created with all-Wayans programming. But the show was GOOD.

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