“In Living Color” Cast Reflects On Show’s Start, Talk Unseen Clips And Ticking Off Spike Lee And Arsenio Hall

ABC's "Good Morning America" - 2012

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“In Living Color Cast” Talks About Ticking Off Other Talent And Sketches That Never Saw Daylight

We’ll forever love “In Living Color” (shout out to our BOSSIP Fam David Alan Grier) The Hollywood Reporter released released an in-depth oral history of In Living Color with Keenen Ivory Wayans , Jim Carrey, David Alan Grier, Carrie Ann Inaba, and more today, twenty-five years after the groundbreaking sketch show ended. We wanted to share some of the stories the cast and crew told about what went on behind-the-scenes and how execs pitched the show to Keenan Ivory Wayans as a “black ‘Laugh-In.’”

Check out the excerpts below via THR:

Tommy Davidson, on why he got In Living Color over SNL:

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.[A spokesperson for SNL replies: “This account is without merit. Chris Rock, Tim Meadows and Ellen Cleghorne were all hired into the cast between 1990 and 1991.”]

Jim Carrey, on sketches that didn’t make it to air:

We were warped out of our minds. We presented several sketches that didn’t make it on the air, things that were just too insane, like the abortion rally ventriloquist. We came up with a sketch called “Make a Death Wish Foundation” about a dead kid whose posthumous wish was to go to an amusement park. That did not make it on air, either. But I came up with the face of the kid, and it eventually turned into the “Fire Marshall Bill” face.

David Alan Grier, on the show’s … fans:

Spike Lee hated the show. He got really mad at us because he thought we were over-the-top about Do the Right Thing. He did not like us making fun of him. People would get angry when we poked fun at them. Arsenio Hall too — anybody that we really poked fun at.

Carrie Ann Inaba, on working with Jennifer Lopez:

There was magic in the skits, and the Fly Girls had this cult following. [Choreographer] Rosie Perez pushed us hard. She didn’t know how to pronounce words like “pirouette,” but it didn’t matter. She had a vision. And Jennifer Lopez, we all knew she was destined for greatness. She was a very determined young woman.

Really juicy stuff right? You’ve got to read the whole thing!

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