The popular ’90s television show In Living Color changed the way the world would look at sketch comedy forever. The groundbreaking series won an Emmy in 1990 and ran for five seasons. Read on to learn all the behind-the-scenes secrets and what the cast is up to now!
In Living Color Changed Sketch Comedy Forever
In Living Color was known for its predominately African American cast, comedy sketches that pushed the limits, and its hot Fly Girl dancers. The show helped launch many careers including the Wayans family, Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Lopez and more.
Keenen Ivory Wayans Then
Keenan Ivory Wayans was the show’s host and usually kicked things off following a dance routine by the show’s Fly Girls. Wayans had many disputes with Fox about censorship over the show’s content. By the third season he no longer was featured in skits, and by the fourth season, he was only shown briefly.
When the final season arrived, he and his siblings didn’t appear on the show anymore. Keenen went from appearing the most out of all his siblings to not appearing at all. What a serious change of events. He did go on and do other things.
Keenen Ivory Wayans Now
After leaving the show, Wayans went on to creative projects such as the Scary Movie parody series. The Scary Movies films continue to be the highest-grossing movies made by an African American. Wayans continues to work behind the scenes on films and he also does stand-up.
So really, he just sits back and produces the films for his brothers these days. From White Girls to Little Man he is the one behind them. And it’s not a bad gig to have at all, especially at this stage in his career. Let the money pile up!
Damon Wayans Then
The younger brother of Keenen Wayans, Damon Wayans played the memorable character of the gay film critic and Homey D. Clown on In Living Color Damon Wayans helped his brother create In Living Color and they left the show together in 1992. The brothers felt that their comedy sketches were being limited.
And when you are a creative, when you feel limited, it isn’t a good place for you to be. You have to have the range to do what you want and not feel like you are boxed in at all. So it was a good move that they left.
Damon Wayans Now
Damon Wayans went on to write a New York Times bestseller, a tribute to his family called Bootleg. From 2001-2005 he starred in the family comedy show called My Wife and Kids. Currently, Wayans does stand up comedy around the country and still pays homage to his character Homey D. Clown.
There was a point after My Wife and Kids where we didn’t see much of Damon. That is until he made a cameo with his son on Happy Endings. Damon was always one of the siblings that didn’t as much attention as some of the others but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t one of the funniest!
Jim Carrey Then
Due to his friendship with Keenen Wayans, Carrey landed the memorable characters Fire Marshall Bill and the female bodybuilder Vera de Milo. During the first season Jim Carrey actually went by the name of James Carrey and changed it to Jim in the second season. Carrey moved on to acting after the show ended in 1994.
He had been doing comedy acts for nearly ten years before he joined this cast. He met Keenen Wayans on the set of Earth Girls Are Easy back in 1989 so that’s how that friendship was sparked.
Jim Carrey Now
Jim Carrey went on to movie stardom with his films, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Truman Show, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Horton Hears a Who. Carrey has also appeared in two skits on the comedy video website Funny or Die. He has recently released the sequel to Dumb and Dumber.
And for the most part, it is safe to say that many people are caught up with the career and life of Carrey. He has been quite silent lately but that doesn’t take away from the classics he has been a part of during his funny career.
Jamie Foxx Then
Jamie Foxx joined In Living Color in 1991. His first famous character was Wanda, the world’s ugliest woman. Jamie joined In Living Color during its third season as a feature character and during seasons four and five he was the main star. He eventually left the show after it ended and went on to do his own thing.
We can safely say that because of this show, Jamie was able to blossom into the superstar that he is today. He can act, sing and direct. And he showcases those talents at different points of career and in this show.
Jamie Foxx Now
Since the show has ended Jamie Foxx has gone on to have his own show for five years, receive a nomination for his supporting role in Collateral and win the Best Actor award for his performance in Ray. He was reportedly set to the play the title role in an upcoming Steve Spielberg-produced biopic of the late Martin Luther King Jr., but that was cut.
His music career is not as big as it once was or could be but you have to imagine with many talents comes great responsibility so this man is a busy man. Currently the host of Beat Shazam on Fox, he stays working and entertaining.
Jennifer Lopez Then
J-Lo, the most famous Fly Girl from the show! She eventually left the series after only two seasons as she constantly competed with the other dancers over makeup and wardrobe and complained of being treated unfairly. She was only on the show for seasons three and four. Many people don’t really know she was only on the show for a rather short period of time.
In fact, some may not even know she was on the show at all but it was a brilliant cast no matter how long she stayed around. Because who wouldn’t want Jenny from the block on their show bringing all the beauty you can handle.
Jennifer Lopez Now
Following leaving the show Jennifer Lopez went on to have some major public relationships with Sean “Diddy” Combs, Ben Affleck, and Marc Anthony. She was one of the judges on “American Idol” and recently released a new single that connects strongly with her roots.
Outside of her making headlines every now and then (like when she was dating rap star Drake) she is usually just minding her business. Lopez isn’t one to be caught up by TMZ or to have drama, she just gets her work done and keeps the peace.
Rosie Perez Then
Rosie was a choreographer for the show’s famous Fly Girls. She held this position for four seasons. Eventually, she was replaced by another choreographer after she left in season four. Many people are surprised that was she was never a Fly Girl herself, but she did have some notable feuds with some of the Fly Girls.
With looks like hers, it is a huge surprise that she never a Fly Girl herself. Her Jennifer Lopez would have been all the show needed if they were looking for visually attractive women to play the role.
Rose Perez Now
After In Living Color, Perez went on star in movies like White Men Can’t Jump and Fearless. Perez actually landed an Oscar nomination for Fearless. In 2014, she released a tell-all book called Handbook for an Unpredictable Life. After divorcing in 2001, she remarried in 2013 to artist Eric Haze.
She was briefly a host for the hit morning show featuring a panel of other brilliant women, The View. When she announced that she was leaving that show after just one season in 2015, she broke down in tears. It would be hard to leave that show!
A 25-Year Reunion
In 2019, the Tribeca Film Festival announced some exciting news for fans of the show: a 25-year anniversary special with members of the original cast getting back together.
The festival’s official press release stated that the event would include “a screening of the pilot and reunion/conversation with creator Keenan Ivory Wayans and Shawn Wayans, Kim Wayans, Tommy Davidson, Rosie Perez, and David Alan Grier.” The same day as the announcement, Davidson tweeted a throwback photo with the caption “Guess who’s getting together 4 @Tribeca FF 2019? That’s right #InLivingColor gettin’ 2gether 4 reunion.”
David Alan Grier Then
He was best known on In Living Color for his role as Antoine Merriweather from the show’s “Men on Films” skit. He became a fan favorite on the show, which received an Emmy for Outstanding Variety Series. Grier had many other roles, including several prominent characters such as the obnoxious, megaphone-blaring shop teacher Al MacAfee.
Also, he played the elderly Mr. Brooks, whose autumn years are a never-ending verbal battle with his wife. Also, no one could forget about bluesman Calhoun Tubbs. He was able to write a song about anything.
David Alan Grier Now
After In Living Color, Grier went on to star in different films, Broadway, and TV roles. He received three Tony Award nominations for the stage adaptation of “Dreamgirls.” He also went on to star in numerous other movies like Peeples, and he was featured on the show “Bones.”
Not only does he do TV and film, you can also catch him on the radio. He was one of the most versatile members of the original cast and it shows due to his career after the show that allowed him to display his talents on a large scale.
Chris Rock Then
Chris Rock had a recurring role on In Living Color after he left the cast of “Saturday Night Live.” His roles on In Living Color were small as he joined the cast in its last season after leaving behind SNL. He did get his start on both shows which was a great start to his comedic career.
And who doesn’t love at least one Chris Rock joke? Technically, he wasn’t a cast member he would just appear every now and then during the final year of the show but it was the right fit for Mr. Rock who went on to have a great career.
Chris Rock Now
Chris Rock went on to have a successful career as a stand-up comedian and landed many high-profile movie roles. He hosted the Oscars in 2005 and 2015. In 2014, Chris Rock and his wife of nearly 20 years announced they would be divorcing.
Never has he been the type to let adversity slow him down. He has made some appearances back on SNL but never becoming a part of the case officially. Rock also had the comedic biopic TV show about his days as a youth growing up in Brooklyn. It’s one of his funniest pieces of work to date.
Carrie Ann Inaba Then
Believe it or not, Carrie Ann Inaba started off as a Fly Girl on In Living Color during the first three seasons of the show. Many people do not know that Carrie Ann Inaba actually got her start as a dancer on In Living Color.
She didn’t continue her career as a dancer once she left the show even though she could have easily done so with her great looks. This show helped the trajectory of many that were on the come up and needed exposure. Inaba was just one of the many you can include on that list.
Carrie Ann Inaba Now
Since moving on from her Fly Girls days, Carrie Ann Inaba has been a judge on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” Even though she has launched a successful career since In Living Color, her love life hasn’t matched up. In 2011 after being proposed to on TV’s Live With Regis and Kelly, she and her fiancé soon called off their engagement.
That’s some tough luck for you but with her success and good looks, it shouldn’t be hard finding a new mate, just hard finding one that she can connect with on that level.
Tommy Davidson Then
Tommy Davidson acted in numerous parody sketches on In Living Color in 1990. This is where he got his start in comedy. He was most famous for his impersonations of Sammy Davis Jr. and Sugar Ray Leonard. He also played the child victim of Homey D. Clown.
He was mainly known for impressions but you also felt bad for him that he had to take Wanda’s sexual advances and be the victim of Homey D. Clown’s heavy sock. HIs comedy was that of expertise and practice. He was for sure a treat to have on the cast.
Tommy Davidson Now
Like many of his co-stars, Tommy Davidson continued to do stand-up comedy after In Living Color. He starred in minor movie roles and went on to become the married dad of two kids. He even starred in a few Pizza Hut commercials in 2002 but has yet to do anything major besides comedy. Davidson also played Oscar Proud on the “The Proud Family” from 2001-2005.
He also does the voice of Cream Corn on the Adult Swim show Black Dynamite. And he has had cameos in other shows since the end of In Living Color like Boston Common and The Bernie Mac Show.
T’keyah Crystal Keymah Then
T’keyah Crystal Keymah was a crowd favorite when In Living Color launched in 1990. She was hit because she really knew how to make the crowd laugh. She was one of the only cast members who stayed on the show all five seasons, which contributed to her being such a hit with fans.
She was frequently one of Homey D. Clown’s sock-battered victims. Even as her career moved forward she was always a great cast for any of the shows she appeared on. You can count on her to play a good role.
T’keyah Crystal Keymah Now
Even though she was a crowd favorite on In Living Color T’keyah became well-known for her major role on “The Cosby Show” in 1996. After that, she moved on to another major role on Disney’s “That’s So Raven” in 2003. Even though she has become a successful actress, she has never been married.
Not only does she act but she has also authored a few books like Some of My Best Friends: A Collection of Characters and Natural Woman and Natural Hair: A Hair Journey. The latter talks about being one of the first black actresses to wear natural hair on TV.
Kim Wayans Then
Following in the footsteps of her brothers, Kim also starred on In Living Color. She left the show along with brothers Keenen, Marlon, Damon, and Shawn Wayans in 1994, when Fox started to limit the show’s script. The move wasn’t surprising since the siblings all started the show with each other.
And why wouldn’t the siblings stay together? They all have great talent and were fully capable of taking their talents elsewhere and still come out on top. And in most cases, they all did still come out on top. What happened with Kim after she left is the question.
Kim Wayans Now
Kim Wayans went on to have many successful projects since In Living Color. Some of those projects were with her brothers and she also worked on the show “In the House” with LL Cool J. Kim Wayans also received a lot of recognition for her work on the film Pariah and she recently appeared on CBS’s 2014 legal drama Reckless.
But her work doesn’t stop there. She also writes a children’s book series Amy Hodgepodge. So you can never count out a Wayans family member because they will always find a way to come out on top.
Kim Coles Then
Kim Coles, who got her famous start as a comedian on the hit show In Living Color, was only on the show for one season. But that didn’t stop her from launching a very successful comedy career. She soon started as a regular on another series soon after leaving In Living Color.
That just goes to show that whoever had a good showing on this show, was able to go on and have a pretty good career still. In Living Color was giving people opportunities of a lifetime and we bet all of these actors are forever thankful.
Kim Coles Now
After In Living Color Kim Coles went on to play her famous role as Synclaire on Living Single. Recently, Kim and her former co-star from Living Single created their own web series called The BFF Chronicles. Coles has also had roles on TV shows like Six Feet Under, One on One and Frasier and has also appeared on reality TV shows like Celebrity Fit Club and Celebrity Mole.
So the work has been bountiful for Coles as she navigates life post In Living Color. We wish her much more success in her future endeavors.
Laurieann Gibson Then
She’s yet another famous Fly Girl from the hit comedic show In Living Color. Gibson got her start on the show In Living Color but was only on the show for season five. She soon left to start her career as a choreographer. It made sense that she was a fly girl because Gibson can absolute dance!
Today, choreography dancing is becoming more and more popular as TV shows revolve around it but back then there was not as much hype surrounding it. Luckily for her, there were still important people who took notice of her skills.
Laurieann Gibson Now
After In Living Color, Lauriann Gibson went on to appear on famous shows such as Making the Band and she has also choreographed for Nick Minaj, Lady Gaga and much more. Gibson even choreographed for the film Beyond the Lights.
And Diddy, the creator of Making the Band doesn’t just pick up any talent, he makes it his mission to pick up the best there is out there so for Gibson to be noticed by the legendary mogul, that is a huge nod to her skills. She should have a long career in doing what she does.
Kelly Coffield Park Then
Kelly Coffield was an original cast member of In Living Color, joining the ensemble in 1990 when the show started. She played many different characters on the comedy show In Living Color, such as Andrea Dice Clay, Little Girl from the Homey D. Clown sketch, and much more.
She was the only caucasian woman cast member in season one so that prompted her to rock a bevy of characters as we just outlined. She did great impressions of Barbara Bush, Roseanne Barr and Cyndi Lauper that were perfect for the ’90s. What became of her?
Kelly Coffield Park Now
After In Living Color Kelly Coffield Park went on to have a supporting role in the Fox ensemble drama “413 Hope St.” She also had featured roles in many different movies including the parody Scary Movie, produced by her previous cast members. Although she never found major stardom, the guest spots she did land were pretty good.
She has raised two children in Brooklyn with her husband (spoiler alert, he’s one of the cast members). Her achievements aren’t to be compared to others from the show, she did her own thing in a different way.
Shawn Wayans Then
The younger brother of Keenen Ivory Wayans, Shawn Wayans played the memorable character of DJ SW-1 and the Fly Girls, who were all famous in their own right. He also did sketches along with his brothers who were also a very important part of the show.
There was a theory that Shawn isn’t as funny as his brothers so that is why they made him be the DJ for his run on the show. His biggest saving grace was when he played J.J. Evans in a parody of LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out”. Still, his career after the show is arguably more successful than many of the other family members.
Shawn Wayans Now
Shawn Wayans went on to do numerous movies with his brother Marlon Wayans. Marlon and Shawn starred in the sitcom The Wayans Bros. together, and in the famous movie Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood.
He also starred in the Scary Movie films and has a supporting role in the gang drama New Blood. He has had gained much success after the show and continues to make waves in the entertainment industry. He and his brother have done stand up tours together as well.
Marlon Wayans Then
Like many of his older siblings, Marlon also got his start on the hit comedy show In Living Color. He was on the between 1992 and 1993. He played many different parts on the show. He soon left the show with the rest of his siblings to do other sitcoms with his older brother Shawn.
Opposite of Shawn, Marlon is quite the character that can easily make you laugh. His theatrics and physical comedy make a good on screen sight for viewers. He is for sure to have a laugh at least once if not more.
Marlon Wayans Now
As previously mentioned, Marlon went on to do numerous shows and movies with his brothers. Marlon co-starred in the WB sitcom The Wayans Bros. with his brother Shawn Wayans, and some famous movies such as Little Man, Dance Flick, Fifty Shades of Black and White Chicks, along with Shawn Wayans as well.
His writing and producing skills have only continued to get better as the years go on. He was the youngest of the brothers from In Living Color but that didn’t stop him from reaching the success he has reached today.
Steve Park Then
Steve Park is a Korean-American comedian who got his start on In Living Color. He mainly played Asian roles on the show, who were usually bringing dishonor to and shame on his ancestors. Steve was on In Living Color from 1991 to 1992 and during that time he married co-star Kelly Coffield Park.
He had great impressions of Connie Chung and Yoko Ono. As one of the only Korean’s in Hollywood at the time, his role was very important and vital to others who aspired to be where he was. Even though his jokes were stereotypical jokes, it was all good fun at the end of the day.
Steve Park Now
Since he has left the show Steve Park has played the roles of Mike Yanagita in Fargo, Sonny in Do the Right Thing, and Detective Brian in Falling Down. Steve Park has also played characters on Cartoon Network Adult Swim and has done numerous independent films.
Yet another actor who can think In Living Color for giving them a chance at the start of their careers. He has also played a minor character on the hit show Friends. Getting on that show was a hot ticket back when it was really popular.
DJ Twist Then And Now
Known as DJ Twist and the Fly Girls, DJ Twist (whose real name is Leroy Casey) was the DJ on In Living Color from 1991 to 1994. DJ and the Fly Girls were a famous part of the show, appearing throughout the sketches.
Following In Living Color, DJ twist earned himself roles in the movies A Low Down Dirty Shame, White Chicks, and Dance Flick. He was also featured in small roles on different TV shows such as The Wayans Bros., Everybody Hates Chris, and UPN’s In the House. More kudos to the show that gave him his start.
Alexandra Wentworth Then
After Alexandra made her debut in the comedy world she went on to join the cast of In Living Color from 1992 to 1994. She was known for her famous impressions of Cher, Amy Fisher, Hilary Clinton, Princess Diana, Brooke Shields, Lisa Marie Presley, Sharon Stone, and much more.
She also had a recurring character on the show called Candy Cane, who was a crazy kid’s show host with many failed relationships. Not a bad start for Wentworth, who was a minority on the show. She made it work and did a great job.
Alexandra Wentworth Now
After In Living Color, Alexandra went on to make appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Oprah Winfrey Show. In 1995 she gained a role on Seinfeld as Jerry Seinfeld’s girlfriend. Alexandra also had a recurring role in the Warner Bros. series Felicity. In 2003 she was a co-host on the show Living it Up! With Ali & Jack.
She had a notable appearance in the films Jerry Maguire, Office Space, and It’s Complicated. She is married to George Stephanopoulos and could be a great fit in the D.C. Housewives show.