The lines “I’m gonna rock your world” and “Homey don’t play that!” have been ingrained into pop culture history thanks to In Living Color. The Fox sitcom, which was created by brothers Keenen and Damon Wayans, became a runaway hit and turned into a major stepping stone for the careers of many superstars today. We take a look back at the cast of this iconic series and dig up some trivia.
Throughout the show’s run, Jim Carrey made people laugh while portraying Fire Marshall Bill, Vera de Milo, and Sgt. Stacey Koon.
Carrey has received numerous Golden Globe nominations for his work, including a Globe win in 2000 for Man on the Moon. With his films raking $2.5 billion total, he is one of the highest grossing actors of all time. 20 years after the release of Dumb and Dumber, the actor released Dumb and Dumber To in 2014, which made over $169 million.
Technically, Chris Rock wasn’t an official cast member, but he made several appearances during the final season. He also brought his character Cheap Pete from the film I’m Gonna Git You Sucka with him.
The three time Grammy award winner recently tore the house down as the host of the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, and he also had some cameo appearances on Saturday Night Live. He also directed the HBO comedy special Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo.
Before she was “Jenny From The Block,” Jennifer Lopez got everyone’s attention as one of the Fly Girls for two seasons.
Since leaving the show to pursue an acting career, J. Lo has become one of the most influential Hispanic Americans of all time with countless accolades to her name. She is still the only female to have a number one album (J.Lo) and number one film (The Wedding Planner) released in the same week.
Those That Didn’t Make It
Just like every other show, there are some noticeable names that have either auditioned for the show but didn’t make it through or turned down the offer.
John Leguizamo was asked to be a part of In Living Color, but the actor turned it down to create and star in his own Latino version of the show titled House of Buggin’, which was canceled during its first season. Before Rosie Perez took the role of the Fly Girls’ dance choreographer, Jada Pinkett Smith was on the producer’s mind to fill that spot. Martin Lawrence tried out for the show, but he didn’t get a shot.
Tommy Davidson kept the show rolling with the characters Sweet Tooth Jones, Main Man, and Howard Tibbs III.
Since the show’s final episode, Davidson lent his voice to Oscar Proud in the Disney series The Proud Family, which earned him five Image Awards nominations, and Cream Corn in Black Dynamite. In 2016, he made appearances on Celebrity Family Feud and Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens. He married his longtime girlfriend Amanda Moore in 2015.
Cult Of Plagiarism
During the show’s first few episodes, they featured a very funky logo that was very captivating. While this was cool for those watching, it wasn’t cool for a select group of gentlemen.
New York City rockers Living Colour, who won a Grammy for their song “Cult of Personality,” assumed the show was completely ripping off their band logo. They threatened to sue the show for an unspecified amount of money, and producers were forced to switch logos quickly.
Jamie Foxx had people rolling on the floor as the ugliest girl in the world, Wanda Wayne. His other characters included Cornbread Turner and T-Dog Jenkins.
The comedian gave the performance of his career with his Oscar-winning portrayal of Ray Charles in the biopic Ray. When he’s not acting, the Texan is busy in the studio recording music. His fifth studio album Hollywood: A Story of a Dozen Roses was released back in 2015. He won two Grammys for his collaborations with T-Pain (“Blame It”) and Kanye West (“Gold Digger.”)
A Long Wait
While the creative juices were flowing heavily during the first few episodes of In Living Color, there was some fear spreading through the offices.
The main problem was how the NAACP would handle the show. The producers waited a full year after completing the pilot episode before airing it on April 15, 1990. Some of the sketches featured on that episode include “Homeboy Shopping Network” and “Great Moments in Black History: First Black Man on the Moon.”
David Alan Grier
Whether he was shop teacher Al MacAfee or bluesman Calhoun Tubbs, David Alan Grier was one of the most beloved actors on the series.
In 2015, he landed a role in the NBC sitcom The Carmichael Show. That same year, Grier portrayed The Cowardly Lion on The Wiz Live!, which gained 11.5 million viewers and earned him a Critics’ Choice Television Awards nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series.
Kelly Coffield Park
Kelly Coffield Park got her name out there with the characters Andrea Dice Clay, which was a female counterpart of Andrew Dice Clay, and Velma Mulholland a.k.a. Film Noir Girl.
Since 1991, she has been married to In Living Color co-star Steve Park. In the past few years, she has made appearances on The Good Wife, Person of Interest, and See Dad Run. She also lent her voice to the Grand Theft Auto IV expansion packs The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony.
While Kim Coles was only on the show for the first season, she managed to cause some controversy with the “Bolt 45” sketch, which has been aired once due to its light take on date rape.
In 2015, the Brooklyn native wrote and produced the web series The BFF Chronicles. That same year, she married former SWAT officer Reggie Mckiver. She has appeared on several reality shows, including Celebrity Food Fight and RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Super Bowl Meltdown
CBS’ Super Bowl XXVI halftime show featured an unforgettable performance from ice skaters Brian Boitano and Dorothy Hamill. Fox decided to compete, but they managed to make a lot of folks mad in the process.
In Living Color ran a live episode during the halftime show, which featured a controversial “Men on Football” sketch. This segment gained controversy when Richard Gere and athlete Carl Lewis were called homosexuals on the show. This portion of the show has been removed in the DVD releases. Their special live show was watched by 25 million viewers, and it can be seen as the turning point for future Super Bowl performances.
Damon Wayans’ portrayal of Homey D. Clown earned him an Emmy nomination in 1991 for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program.
In December 2015, he announced his retirement from stand up comedy due to a change in audiences. Recently, the New York City native appeared on the sitcom Happy Endings with his son Damon Wayans, Jr. He also portrays Roger Murtaugh on the TV adaptation of Lethal Weapon, which is on Fox.
Keenen Ivory Wayans
Keenen Ivory Wayans, who co-created the show with brother Damon, impersonated various people on the show, including Billy Dee Williams, Mike Tyson, and Milli from Milli Vanilli.
In 2012, he decided to revive In Living Color, but the new series was canceled before the pilot episode aired because he felt the series wouldn’t last one season. Recently, he appeared as a judge on Last Comic Standing and appeared in the documentaries Dying Laughing and Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Kim Wayans is best known for playing Laquita, Cousin Elsee, and Benita Butrell on the show.
Acting roles haven’t been consistent since In The House ended, but the actress has managed to turn any role into a memorable one. Her performance in the 2011 film Pariah earned her a Black Reel Awards nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 2012. Recently, she’s been on New Girl, Reckless, and Criminal Minds. Aside from acting, Kim wrote and produced several episodes of My Wife & Kids.
Marlon Wayans only appeared in the fourth season, but he left a lasting impression alongside his brothers and sister.
Recently, Marlon has been busy with a handful of projects. In 2016, he starred in Fifty Shades Of Black, which was a parody of the Fifty Shades of Grey film and the final acting gig for Florence Henderson before her death. Also that year, his sitcom Marlon was picked up by NBC. Marlon will also work on his new film Naked in the near future.
For the first four seasons of the show, Shawn Wayans portrayed street poet Ice Poe, comedian Chris Rock, and Jimmie Walker.
Shawn has spent more time behind the scenes than on screen with writing and producing credits in the movies The Life and Times of Marcus Felony Brown, Dance Flick, and Thugaboo: A Miracle on D-Roc’s Street. He recently appeared on the shows Home & Family and Dysfunctional with No Filter Paul and Denise.
Alexandra Wentworth is best known for portraying kids show host Candy Cane in the last two seasons.
Since 2001, she has been married to news journalist George Stephanopoulos, and they have two daughters together. In 2015, she released her third book titled Happily Ali After: And Other Fairly True Tales. The following year, she created and starred in the sitcom Nightcap, which is on Pop Network. In the show, she plays Nightcap with Jimmy head booker Staci Cole.
Homey D. Clown Had A Video Game
Developers have always done video game adaptations for movies and comic books, but an adaptation for a sketch comedy show raised several eyebrows.
Developers Capstone created a point and click video game based on everyone’s favorite clown of all time, Homey D. Clown. The plot of the game involved having the character reach the TV studio while bopping all of the bad guys in his way. As expected, this game was completely forgotten about when it dropped in 1993.
Before America got to know him as Salem on Sabrina, The Teenage Witch and Norbert on The Angry Beavers, Nick Bakay hosted “The Dirty Dozens” competitions on the show.
Nick is currently the executive producer of the hit CBS series Mom. He was previously the consulting producer on the sitcoms The King of Queens, Two and a Half Men, and ‘Til Death. Nick also co-wrote Paul Blart: Mall Cop and its 2015 sequel with Kevin James.