The In Living Color TV show is one of a very select few that can truly boast that it influenced the industry and shifted The Culture. The stars it created and the influence it had on other television shows and popular culture at large simply cannot be denied (and you can read our article about Keenan Ivory Wayans for more evidence).
Debuting on Fox in 1990 and running for five seasons. Keenen Ivory Wayans created, wrote, produced and starred in the program. This series provides a platform for the many members of the comedic Wayans family. Popular recurring sketches include Homey D. Clown, the Homeboy Shopping Network, Fire Marshall Bill, Men on Film and Great Moments in Black History.
The show was groundbreaking but also controversial due to the Wayans’ decision to portray Black humor from a raw and uncut perspective in a time when mainstream American tastes regarding Black comedy had been set by less edgy black comedy.
In Living Color’s final lasting legacy is in the stars it created. Of course you have the entirety of the Wayans family clan (Keenan, Damon, Shawn, Marlon, and Kim). The show also starred a number previously unknown comedians and actors, including Jamie Foxx, Jim Carrey, Tommy Davidson, David Alan Grier, and T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh. The show also introduced Jennifer Lopez and Carrie Ann Inaba to the world as members of In Living Color‘s dance troupe The Fly Girls, with actress Rosie Perez serving as choreographer. Those are Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy, and Tony winners.
For giving so much to the world of comedy and The Culture, In Living Color has to be crowned a certifiable #CultureClassic.
One unexpected way In Living Color shifted the worlds of both music and professional sports. In 1992 the show garnered its all-time ratings high with its bold move of airing a live, special episode as a counter-program for the halftime show of Super Bowl XXVI. Literally tens of millions of people changed the channel during the most viewed program of the year. This prompted the NFL to begin booking A-list musical acts for future halftime performances. They started with non-other than the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson the following year.
We hope you enjoyed this look back at the classic In Living Color TV show. Check out more of our #CultureClassics below:
Written by @TalentedMrFord