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DramatistDreamer

Cast of In Living Color: 25 Year Reunion

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This was a pretty entertaining roundtable that happened during the Tribeca Film Festival this year.  Too bad the rest of the cast couldn't be there, particularly the first season's cast.  Keenan Ivory Wayans and Robert Townsend should have been as big as Lorne Michaels is and their success rate actually bests Lorne Michaels' when you think of the sheer number of success stories that came out of In Living Color, how many went on to have careers as award-winning actors, directors, producers and choreographers.

 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, DramatistDreamer said:

This was a pretty entertaining roundtable that happened during the Tribeca Film Festival this year.  Too bad the rest of the cast couldn't be there, particularly the first season's cast.  Keenan Ivory Wayans and Robert Townsend should have been as big as Lorne Michaels is and their success rate actually bests Lorne Michaels' when you think of the sheer number of success stories that came out of In Living Color, how many went on to have careers as award-winning actors, directors, producers and choreographers.

 

 

 

 

They definitely have a great success rate,  including The Wayans family, Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Lopez, David Alan Grier and Carrie Ann Inaba.

 

I liked and watched In Living Color much more than I did SNL.

Edited by xtr

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Molly Shannon actually appeared on In Living Color years before Saturday Night Live. It was one of her earliest TV roles.

Kim Coles did a season of In Living Color years before Living Single.

Rosie Perez had been a Soul Train dancer and had a pretty memorable role in Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing but she built her credentials as a choreographer on In Living Color.

In Living Color was one of Larry Wilmore's (The Bernie Mac show) earliest writing gigs.

 

So many people got either their first or their big breaks from this show.  Those who didn't become big stars at least became working actors/comedians.

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I know it's ridiculous to say this, but I think I would love to see a reality series starring the Wayans siblings.  I think it would kill.

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2 minutes ago, Khan said:

I know it's ridiculous to say this, but I think I would love to see a reality series starring the Wayans siblings.  I think it would kill.

That’s not ridiculous at all. It’s a great idea. Is Braxton Family Values still on? I’d prefer a Wayans series to that.

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1 minute ago, Faulkner said:

Is Braxton Family Values still on?

 

Unfortunately, WEtv hasn't cancelled them yet.  But, hope springs eternal!

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A damning quote here from the still underrated Tommy Davidson, who doesn't do enough stuff (and I think we went to the same school growing up, albeit many years apart):

 

When I landed In Living Color, I was a hot comic. A week before getting the job I had met with Lorne Michaels in his office in 1990 [for a potential SNL spot]. He lined it up for me and said, "I don't want a black comedian. Eddie Murphy was a mistake. I don't want a person that stands out." I was confused. I was born black. There's not a zipper in the back of this thing.

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I tend to believe Tommy Davidson.  It's well known that SNL had a problematic history with its black talent, especially black comediennes, until Maya Rudolph. 

 

Lorne Michaels had nothing to do with Eddie Murphy's being hired to SNL, Lorne Michaels had temporarily left SNL before then.  It was Jean Doumanian who hired Eddie Murphy.  Of all the players that had been hired during Doumanian's brief tenure, only Joe Piscopo and Eddie Murphy had been kept on, the rest were all fired.

 

As for Spike Lee's disdain of the show, well I can remember a time I wasn't so crazy about Spike.  I had often found his portrayal of women in his films to be problematic.  In the late 90s when I had just graduated from college and was in my first real job at an arts institution, I saw Spike Lee walking the halls, and in passing I gave him a very pointed side-eye.  In fact, I think I cut my eye at him (lol) and I wasn't the only one-- a few other black women at my job did the same thing, LOL.

 

It was interesting to read Firestein pretty much agree with Wayans that rerunning the series aged the series, I think Keenan said that it devalued the series. Firestein very candidly talks about his perception that there was ethnic cleansing occurring at Fox,  something we on this  board have discussed as a strategy that other networks like UPN and the WB (that later became the CW network) engaged in.  I wonder whether anyone tried to get Barry Diller's feedback about what happened BTS at In Living Color.  I'm curious as to what his remarks would be on that aspect.

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36 minutes ago, DramatistDreamer said:

It was Jean Doumanian who hired Eddie Murphy.

And by many accounts, she was reluctant to do so.

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29 minutes ago, Franko said:

And by many accounts, she was reluctant to do so.

 

For as many missteps as Doumanian was reported to have made during her tenure (and by the way, Robert Townsend would NOT have been one of them, Townsend showed that he was insanely talented during the 1980s), at least she had the sense to promote Murphy to cast member after he had made four appearances on the show as a featured player.  So in Doumanian's case (with the hiring of Murphy and Piscopo), I guess even a broken clock can be right twice a day.

 

EDT:

I find it more problematic that there wasn't room for both Murphy and Townsend, while there had been room for both Ackroyd and Chevy Chase in previous years. 

 

I also think Lorne Michaels stifled Chris Rock's humor on the show but that's a story for another day.

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1 hour ago, DramatistDreamer said:

 

For as many missteps as Doumanian was reported to have made during her tenure (and by the way, Robert Townsend would NOT have been one of them, Townsend showed that he was insanely talented during the 1980s), at least she had the sense to promote Murphy to cast member after he had made four appearances on the show as a featured player.  So in Doumanian's case (with the hiring of Murphy and Piscopo), I guess even a broken clock can be right twice a day.

 

EDT:

I find it more problematic that there wasn't room for both Murphy and Townsend, while there had been room for both Ackroyd and Chevy Chase in previous years. 

 

I also think Lorne Michaels stifled Chris Rock's humor on the show but that's a story for another day.

Agreed across the board.

Edited by Franko

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