In Living Color, Keenen Ivory Wayans’ answer to Saturday Night Live, is getting the reboot treatment from FOX. The network intends to re-launch the series, should the two planned half-hour specials prove to be a success.
The series – which made household name out of several comedians like Jim Carrey, David Alan Grier and Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx – also launched the careers of Wayans’ siblings: Damon, Shawn, Kim and eventual G.I. Joe star, Marlon.
In Living Color also introduced the world to singer, actress and American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez, as one of the show’s “Fly Girls.”
In the time it was on, In Living Color left an indelible mark on mainstream pop culture with its unrepentant brand of stereotype-skewering humor, which frequently found the show testing the limits of mid-1990s television censors. In addition to a multitude of one-off skits, the program also produced a number of classic recurring characters and skits, such as Damon Wayans’ Homey D. Clown, Handi Man and Head Detective; Jim Carrey’s Fire Marshall Bill; and, of course, flamboyant critics Blaine Edwards and Antoine Merriweather (Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier, respectively). Those latter skits – Men on Film, Men on Books, Men on Football, etc. – also popularized the catch phrase “Hated it!” (typically reserved for anything too focused on females).
FOX initially plans to bring the show back to help celebrate the network’s 25th anniversary, with the airing of two half-hour specials sometime in the spring. However, the network is looking to have In Living Color return as a full-fledged series next season. The specials will see the return of Keenen Ivory Wayans as host, but will feature a new cast of young, up-and-coming comedians, as well as a segment spotlighting a musical guest.
Though there has been no word of anyone from the original cast making an appearance, it wouldn’t be out of the question for any of them to stop by and reprise a character or just show support for the program that essentially started their career.
The return of In Living Color would fulfill FOX’s search for a sketch comedy show, in the absence of the long-running MADtv, and the short-lived, Jamie Foxx produced program The Flow with Affion Crockett.
In Living Color will be a welcome return to form for Wayans (singular or otherwise), whose talent for comedy has resulted in the very funny blaxploitation spoof I’m Gonna Git You Sucka and the Scary Movie franchise; as well as White Chicks, Little Man and Dance Flick (featuring the aforementioned Affion Crockett). With any luck, In Living Color will keep Wayans occupied enough that those latter films remain sequel free.
Look for In Living Color to return to FOX sometime in the spring of 2012.