April 15th, 1990 marks the day that sketch comedy show, In Living Colour aired its pilot episode, introducing viewers to a bold kind of cultural satire and racial humour that was not nearly as present in similar shows like SNL. With a predominantly Black cast and writing team, ILC approached sketch comedy from a new perspective that was not only topical and relevant in the early 90s, but also well ahead of its time.
Although the Wayans family who created In Living Colour are mostly known now for their long string of parody movies that have been increasingly worse with each release, they were in peak form with ILC, creating unforgettable characters such as Homey ‘D’ Clown, Fire Marshal Bill and Men on Films. Even today you can hear people dropping some of the shows famous catch phrases; personally, I can’t bop someone on the head with a sock without saying “Homey don’t play that”!
Along with the memorable and hilarious skits, ILC also launched the careers of a number of people who would go on to be huge stars. Among these people were Jennifer Lopez, who appeared on the show as one of the Fly Girls, a group of female dancers who would preform quick hip hop dance routines in between skits. However the cast of the show groomed a number of Hollywood successes, such as the Wayans brothers, Jamie Foxx and perhaps most notably, Jim Carrey (although in those days he was credited as James Carrey).
In Living Colour may have only had a brief 5 season run, with a slow decline in quality for the last 2 seasons, but in its prime the show was remarkably funny with a blatant disregard for “political correctness”. Below is the first skit I ever saw from ILC, and serves as a great example of the kind of humour that made the show so great.
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