Whatever Happened To: The Cast of In Living Color
In Living Color was Fox’s take on Saturday Night Live in primetime.
It was provocative and more often than not pushed the limits. Being a primarily black cast, this show stood out from almost every show that was on television at the time, and was a breeding ground for some of the funniest and most notable actors of today. Creator Keenan Ivory Wayans recently said of the cast:
“We just put this group of funny people together that I was very confident in, that had very funny things to say, that were very different. That was why no one of us had done network TV before because we were different, so this was a chance to just let it all be said.”
While most of the cast were part of the Wayans family or have simmered their stardom down to a low flame these days, some of the In Living Color cast are still household names after all these years.
Keenan Ivory Wayans
As the show’s creator and executive producer, everyone knew that once the show was over, he’d go on to make a name for himself behind the scenes, and he did just that. Keenan went on to direct Scary Movie, White Chicks, Little Man and Dance Flick. Yup, all those movies starred his little brothers Marlon and Shawn Wayans. Next up for Keenan is bringing In Living Color back to life. He left the show back in the day after he grew too tired of Fox censoring everything, but will be returning to give it another go this coming spring.
He got his first break in Eddie Murphy’s Beverly Hills Cop, but broke out in In Living Color with characters like the gay film critic, and everyone’s favorite, Homey the Clown; “Homey don’t play that.” After the show he cleaned up the humor a bit for the ABC series My Wife and Kids. Now the torch has been passed on to his son Damon Jr. who is doing very well on another ABC series, Happy Endings.
Before Jim was Ace Ventura of The Mask, he was Fire Marshall Bill on In Living Color. As one of the show’s most famous alumni, Jim went on to be one of the top faces of the 90’s with back to back Blockbuster comedy hits. In more recent years he’s had a few good runs with movies like Bruce Almighty, but has been in the headlines more for his personal life. People were a little confused when he landed Playboy centerfold Jenny McCarthy, but were more bummed for him when they split.
Today Jamie is a suave A-list Oscar winner, but back in the 90’s he was just an ugly woman named Wanda. Looking back you wouldn’t have guessed that he would go on to win not only an Oscar for playing Ray Charles, but a Grammy as well. Foxx isn’t doing too bad for himself and continues to get a range of roles. Most recently and hilarious being Motherf**ker Jones in Horrible Bosses.
She was the fly girl to end all fly girls. Then Jennifer Lopez was this pretty girl with wonderful assets that danced between sketches. Now she’s an A-list celebrity thanks to roles in Selena and romantic comedies like The Wedding Planner and Maid in Manhattan. Of course she has her movies, but she’s also made a name for herself since 1999 when she got into music. So much so, she was recently a judge on American Idol. Lopez is also known for dating quite a few A-list celebs, but is now in a relationship with a younger man who isn’t much of a star.
Every fly girl needs a coach and Rosie was it. She was their choreographer and also found work choreographing music videos for Janet Jackson and Bobby Brown. Perez got into the acting game with roles in White Men Can’t Jump, and earned an Oscar nomination for her part in Fearless. Recently, Rosie was in Won’t Back Down and a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
David Alan Grier
He was Damon’s partner in crime in the gay film critic skit and even pretty funny on his own. While he recently returned to Broadway in a revival of “Porgy and Bess,” he has kept busy in films and bit roles on TV over the years, including Dance Flick, Bones and Law & Order SVU.
Like the rest of his family, Marlon got his foot in the door with In Living Color, but it wasn’t until him and his brother Shawn got The Wayans Bros. on the WB that he became known worldwide. From TV to movies like White Chicks and Scary Movie, Marlon kept people laughing. The most surprising thing Marlon’s done to date was starring opposite Channing Tatum in G.I. Joe. It had to have had older people in the audience going, “Is that…Really?”
She proved females can be just as funny. As the lone Wayans sister on the set, Kim had to always be one step ahead. Now she’s into more dramatic roles and got one in the indie flick, Pariah. In that she played a religious mother who isn’t too stoked about her daughter’s sexuality. Kim is also trying to get the green light on a sitcom called Growing Up Wayans, which would be about her mother raising the 9 Wayan siblings in New York’s public housing. Didn’t the WB do that as a cartoon called Waynehead back in the day?
He was often a guest star, but was on so much that we decided to include him. Chris is a name in comedy that will never go away due to his stand up specials that remain laugh worthy years after the fact and countless movies. Rock also made the right choice in voicing a sassy zebra in the family film series Madagascar. Those continue to be hits, so he’s pretty much set.
In Living Color was the first thing Tommy got famous doing. That helped him go on to be the patriarch in Disney Channel’s The Proud Family. Okay, that’s not really the same audience, but they were both really entertaining. Most recently Tommy was in 2009’s blaxploitation film spoof Black Dynamite, which according to IMDB is an animated series that Tommy is lending his voice to.
Carrie Ann Inaba
Jennifer Lopez wasn’t the only fly girl to make it out and hit it big. Carrie isn’t known for movies or TV roles, she’s a personality that millions of people tune in to see as she judges Dancing with the Stars.