It may have only lasted four years, but while In Living Color was on the air, it kept established rivals like Saturday Night Live on their toes. For younger viewers, In Living Color was SNL's edgier, more cutting counterpart, because it dared to go places their parents' sketch shows had never gone before. Add to that super-rad musical interludes and In Living Color was one of the coolest shows on TV.
ILC Was Groundbreakingly Diverse
Damon and Keenen Ivory Wayons started the show with the specific goal of giving comedians of color a platform they'd never been offered before. Ivory Wayons said at the time: "I wanted to do a show that reflects different points of view… Minority talent is not in the system and you have to go outside… We went beyond the Comedy Stores and Improvs, which are not showcase places for minorities." Fox let him and his brother run pretty wild with the format, and along the way, they introduced us to the likes of Jamie Foxx and Chris Rock.
It Gave Us Some of Jim Carrey's Funniest Work
Truthfully, some of Carrey's funniest work came to us courtesy of In Living Color. His parody of Vanilla Ice (above) is still LOL-worthy, and his Snow impersonation (below) offered a biting critique of the double-standards applied to white and black artists by the music industry.
It Brought America the Fly Girls
One of the coolest elements of In Living Color was the Fly Girls -- the dancers that strutted their stuff between sketches each week. Rosie Perez was acting choreographer for four seasons, and a young lady by the name of Jennifer Lopez got her start there, back in Season 3. The Fly Girls were tough but sexy, fashionable but relatable. If you were a teen in the early '90s, you wanted to be a Fly Girl.
The Musical Guests Were Dope
The theme tune by Heavy D & the Boyz set the tone for the whole show, but in Season 2, musical guests became a regular thing, starting with Queen Latifah. If you were cool in hip-hop, you were on In Living Color -- Public Enemy, Naughty By Nature, Redman, MC Lyte, Eazy-E, and too many others to mention, all made appearances. As with SNL, some artists -- including Tupac Shakur and En Vogue -- were roped into doing sketches, but In Living Color's close relationship with music meant their musical parodies were some of the show's finest moments.
We'll leave you with a montage of some of the best: