Flashback Friday: In Living Color

Flashback Friday: In Living Color
ESSENCE.COM Mar, 24, 2010

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Damon and Keenen Ivory Wayans were staples on the underground comedy circuit before they took Hollywood by storm. Keenen got the ball rolling on “In Living Color” and with Damon by his side, they took it to the net and brought their brother and sister along for the ride, too. The elder Wayans brothers remain the patriarchs of their family’s comedy dynasty.

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DJ SW1 (nee’ Shawn Wayans) controlled the 1’s and 2’s on “In Living Color.” Since retiring his turntables, Shawn joined forces with his brothers Keenen, Damon and Marlon and continue to keep the funny flowing. Two words – “White Chicks.”

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Everybody’s had a nosey neighbor, so when Kim Wayans introduced us to Benita Butrell, we knew her, well. Kim was always hilarious and could hold her own alongside her brothers, too. She last appeared in “Dance Flick,” which was written, produced and directed by her brothers and nephew.

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David Alan Grier will surely go down in comedy history for his ever-flagrant portrayal of film critic, Antoine Merriweather. Since his days on “In Living Color,” he’s stayed on his hustle. Most recently, he competed on “Dancing with Stars,” hosted the series, “Chocolate News” and starred on Broadway in “Race.”

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Sure, he’s won an Oscar and a Grammy, but Jamie Foxx can never escape Wanda. With her blond hair, semi-crossed eyes and pursed lips, she wasn’t exactly a looker, but she sure was confident…and she was always “ret t’go.”

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Jim Carrey would go to the ends of the earth for a laugh. After cracking us up as Fire Marshall Bill, Vera de Milo and even Vanilla Ice, the comic went on to earn top billing (and millions) in blockbuster films including “The Truman Show,” “Dumb & Dumber” and “Batman Forever,” among them.

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Who knew that after dancing us into commercial breaks on “In Living Color” that Jennifer Lopez would become an international box office star and a platinum-selling hitmaker? “Jenny from the block” was on a mission.

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Whether he was serving up orders at the “Snackin’ Shack” or getting smacked around by Homey D. Clown, Tommy Davidson always brought the laughs. Along with his voiceover work on “The Proud Family,” the D.C. native continues to work on film and in television. Most recently, he starred in the blaxploitation parody, “Black Dynamite.”

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T’Keyah Crystal Keymah could transform herself from an innocent kindergartener to an ultra-ghetto customer service rep, in a flash. After her hilarious days on “In Living Color,” the Chicago native played Bill Cosby’s daughter on “Cosby” and most recently, starred as Raven-Symone’s mom on Disney’s hit series, “That’s So Raven.”

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Kelly Coffield played her position on “In Living Color” and was funny as hell. She brought us the potty-mouthed fictional characters Andrea Dice Clay and Samantha Kinison and even endured abuse at the hands of Homey D. Clown. The show proved to be a personal success, too, as it’s where she met her husband. She continues to star on TV and in film.

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The original cast of “In Living Color” poses for a group shot. The controversial sketch comedy series premiered on the Fox network in April 1990 and ran for five seasons. And yes, that’s Kim Coles peeking out from inside the limo. After her tenure on the show, Coles starred on a number of series, most notable, “Living Single.”

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In case you missed out on some of the laughs, all five seasons of “In Living Color” are on DVD.

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