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Series / In Living Color!

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The original cast of In Living Color!.note 

"You can do what you wanna do...In Living Color!"

In Living Color! Wrote an article 'bout it! Like to read it? Here it goes!

A half-hour sketch comedy show that aired on Fox from 1990 to 1994, created by Keenen Ivory Wayans and starring several of his brothers (Damon, Shawn, and Marlon) and one sister (Kim). The series is largely known as the launching pad for the careers of The Wayans Family, Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, David Alan Grier, and Tommy Davidson — as well as Jennifer Lopez and Carrie Ann Inaba, who were part of the show's "Fly Girl" dance troupe.

It was effectively Saturday Night Live for the black and Hispanic set (SNL didn't have a lot of black cast members at the timenote  and wouldn't get a Hispanic cast member until Horatio Sanz was hired in 1998note ), featuring R&B and hip-hop musical acts.


Memorable recurring characters include the ex-con clown Homey D. Clown (Damon Wayans), the flamboyantly gay film critics for the "Men On..." seriesnote  (Damon Wayans as Blaine Edwards and Grier as Antoine Merriweather), abhorrent and Mirror-Cracking Ugly admirer Wanda (Foxx), mannish bodybuilder Vera DeMilo (Carrey), and the cartoonishly destructive safety officer Fire Marshall Bill Burns (Carrey).

Unfortunately, the edgy comedy of the series — not only its raunchiness but sometimes cutting racial satire — eventually brought down the wrath of network executives who regarded it as Too Hot for TV, and the Wayans family ended up leaving the series over the course of the fourth season. Season Five still had Carrey, Grier, Foxx and Davidson, but the quality suffered for the absence of many of the recurring characters (not only those the Wayans played but Carrey's, as he was making fewer appearances) while five new cast membersnote  didn't connect with audiences. The show ultimately was cancelled, freeing the breakout stars to go on to varying degrees of success in film, TV, and stand-up comedy. It was scheduled to be revived with a new cast in 2012, but due to negative reception from focus groups and executives over the new pilot the project was shelved.


The show has been on and off television in reruns. It's aired in reruns on FX, BET, Centric, and FXX, and currently splits time between Aspire and TV One. All five seasons are on DVD, but most episodes are edited to remove any and all traces of licensed songs, such as characters Waxing Lyrical, characters singing the actual song, popular 1990s songs playing during the Fly Girls interstitials, and the music video parodies. If you want to see the show as it was back in the 1990s, your best bets are reruns or YouTubenote .

Not to be confused with the funk-metal band Living Colour or a BBC radio comedy sketch show of a similar name.

Now has a Character page that could use some wiki love.

This show contained examples of the following:

  • The '90s: A lot of early rap talent appears, and many of the sketches reflect then-current news and pop culture. Unless you lived through the 1990s, you'll definitely have to Wikipedia some of the references — mostly the political stuff, as most of the movie and music parodies remains somewhat familiar to people these days.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Jamie Foxx's Ugly Wanda. Her Spear Counterpart, Luther (Marlon Wayans), is this to her in one episode.
  • Action Girl: Vera De Milo and Kim Wayans as Grace Jones are two examples in the show. The former can do things like easily rip telephone books in half and use washers and dryers as weights (due to abusing steroids) and the latter has said that she likes to "chew glass, ride sharks and bite the heads off of gummy bears."
  • Aerith and Bob: In the "Old Train" skit, the two participants in the word scramble are named Methuselah and Jane Pittman.
  • Alliterative Name: Wanda Wayne.
  • All Periods Are PMS: Jim Carrey and Kelly Coffield play a couple where the guy ends up jumping from a five-story window to escape his ranting, PMS-ing wife.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Spoofed with Grace Jones as played by Kim Wayans.
  • And This Is for...: In the "Jackson Family Rock Em, Sock Em Robots" skit, when Joe is fighting (and is eventually defeated by) Tito, the latter cries out as he's punching Joe's robot "And that's for scaring Michael, that's for cheating on Mom and most of all, that's for naming me Tito!"
  • Anvilicious: Invoked. On A Different Message, everything the characters say makes a point, from the importance of conserving energy to not wasting money shopping to dentists who recommend chewing Trident over other gums.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In the "Wrath of Farrakhan" skit, Farrakhan defiantly proclaims that his people have survived "four hundred years of slavery, two hundred years of apartheid, and twenty-five years of The Jeffersons in syndication".
  • Ax-Crazy: Fire Marshall Bill, who's possibly a pyromanic.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Li'l Magic.
  • Bag of Holding: Wanda was implied to carry one of these, considering her ability to produce almost any item someone might ask for at any given time from her purse - up to and including cans of gasoline.
  • Bait-and-Switch: "King: The Early Years" begins as if its a story about Martin Luther King, Jr., showing a white kid and a black kid getting into an argument at school. Instead, it turns out the King in question is the infamous boxing promoter Don King, who organizes a fight between the two kids and gets paid by the other kids to watch it!
  • Black Comedy: Some sketches fall into this category.
  • Bland-Name Product: Sketches tend to use the actual names of companies being parodied, but the spelling is slightly off (for example, "The Exxxon Family").
  • Boomerang Bigots: The Brothers Brothers (Keenen Ivory and Damon Wayans), who are essentially bigoted white men in the bodies of black men.
  • Bread Milk Eggs Squick: In the Misery II skit, when his hostage begs him to let her go, Rick James is angered by her ungratefulness, citing "All the things I've done for you: cooking, cleaning, letting you suck face with my girlfriend while I watch!"
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: A necessity for the Miss Benita sketches, as the viewer is usually treated as a neighborhood resident she is acquainted with. The exceptions to this rule are the court room & high school reunion sketches, which require actual characters for Benita to play off (though she still occasionally breaks the fourth wall in the latter sketch).
    • Fire Marshall Bill, Anton Jackson and Homey D. Clown also regularly break the fourth wall in their sketches.
  • Bungled Hypnotism: In the "Vortex of Fear" sketch, a stage hypnotist hypnotizes an audience member (played by Jim Carrey) to act like a chicken — and has a fatal heart attack immediately afterwards. The audience member is doomed to spend the rest of his life acting like a chicken!
  • The Cameo: In-universe (or in-sketch, as the case may be), Magenta Thompson makes an appearance during the "Super Fly" sketch. As usual, Super Fly tells her "Get out of my way, bitch!"
  • Camp Gay: Blaine Edwards (Damon Wayans) and Antoine Merriweather (David Alan Grier), the critics from "Men on..." who only focus on the masculine aspects of film, books, television, art, vacation, cooking, etc. Anything and everything that has to do with women (even tangentially) earns a unison response of "Hated it!"
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Homey don't play that!" (Homey D. Clown) and "LEMME SHOW YA SOMETHIN'!" (Fire Marshall Bill) among many, many others.
    • Calhoun Tubbs always punctuates his songs with "Aaahhhhh haaaaaaaa!"
      • (Take any topic)..."wrote a song 'bout it. Like to hear it?. Here it goes."
    • Inverted with Magenta Thompson (Kelly Coffield) who's film repertoire is only 2-second bit parts with someone saying "Get out of my way, bitch!" to her rather than said by her.
    • "...Hated it", the gay critics from Men on... whenever something featured women.
    • ''"Mo' Money, Mo' Money MO' MONEY!" — Homeboyz Shopping Network
  • Character Tic: Anton Jackson has a habit of picking his nose. In one skit where he's being sued, he takes the judge's gavel and uses the handle to pick something from his nose.
  • Check, Please!: A businessman says it after his blind date Grace Jones cut an alligator's tail off.
    Harvey: Waiter, check please!
    Grace: (holding the severed tail) Would you like a piece of my tail, Harvey?invoked
  • Cheerful Child: Would-be child star Li'l Magic, whose biggest claim to fame is being "Miss Smile Bright 1987! See?" She's not as talented as her Stage Mom would have her believe, but she's not faking her cheerfulness or manipulating others with it (likely because she can't).
  • Chez Restaurant: Chez Whitey's, a place that puts Homey D. Clown off.
  • Cliffhanger: In a rare sketch comedy example of this trope, the Season Two finale has two skits with cliffhanger endings: In "Men on..." Blaine is turned straight by a blow on the head, while Homey D. Clown appears to sell out to The Man. Both are resolved at the top of Season Three.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Candy Cane towards Jurassic Benny.
  • Clip Show: There were several best-of episodes (one specifically featuring music video spoofs) plus an all-Hilarious Outtakes show.
  • Comical Overreacting: Mr. Hedley of the "Hey Mon" skits will often resort to this if he learns that someone has only one job (no matter how well it pays) or is unemployed.
  • Corrupt Church: "The 595 Club" with televangelists Reverend Ed Cash (Damon Wayans) and the Reverend Dr. Carl Pathos (Jim Carrey).
  • Coattail-Riding Relative: Arsenio Hall is regarded as one to Eddie Murphy, despite their not being blood relations. Even the intro to the first skit featuring the former has the announcer saying, "Now here's Eddie Murphy's best friend—and don't you forget it!"
  • Crosscast Role: Besides Foxx as Ugly Wanda, one of Jim Carrey's recurring characters is steroid-abusing female bodybuilder Vera DeMilo. David Alan Grier plays Li'l Magic's Stage Mom.
  • Crossover: Some of In Living Color's cast members would go on to host Saturday Night Live and/or have some connection to it:
    • Jim Carrey: Originally auditioned as a cast member for the 1980-81 and 1985-86 seasons (those, along with the 1994-95 season, are considered SNL at its worst). He went on to host the Season 21 finale in 1996, the first 2011 episode (Season 36), and Season 40's Halloween Episode (2014) before becoming a recurring guest performer in Season 46 as President Joe Biden.
    • David Alan Grier: Hosted SNL in Seasons 21 (highlighted by the "Wake Up and Smile" sketch) and 22.
    • Jamie Foxx: Hosted in Seasons 25 (the first new episode of the 21st century, in fact) and 38.
    • Jennifer Lopez: Hosted in Season 26 episode (2000-2001) and 35 (2009-2010); currently, she's the only Hispanic celebrity to be a host and musical guest for two separate episodes. The first appearance has a sketch in which the In Living Color Fly Girls (all played by SNL cast members) visit her and complain she's fallen out of touch with her roots since becoming a celebrity.
    • Damon Wayans: Was a featured player on SNL during its 11th season (1985-86), but was fired after playing a cop character as a Camp Gay (the voice of which he would use later for his "Men on..." character Blaine) in retaliation for Lorne Michaels and the writers not giving him decent roles in sketches. Despite this, he came back to do stand-up in that season's finale (slated to be the last episode of the entire seriesinvoked because of how bad it was) and hosted in another season that was plagued with Seasonal Rot: Season 20 (1994-95). This brought back two of his recurring In Living Color characters, Anton Jackson and Blaine; David Alan Grier also appeared as Antoine Merriweather for the latter sketch.
    • In addition, Chris Rock (although not an official cast member) guest starred in several episodes during Season Five, following his exit from the cast of SNL.
  • Dean Bitterman: Al McAfee, whose only purpose as school principal is to harass the students for doing innocuous things that he believes to be dangerous or disorderly (as well as sexually harass a fellow teacher he has a crush on) or to ignore or just be completely oblivious to anyone who really is doing something wrong or sneaky.
  • Delusions of Eloquence: Oswald Bates, an inmate who delivers self-educated political ramblings. The humor is based on his misuse of vocabulary words, and anatomical terms in particular.
  • Depraved Kids' Show Host/Subverted Kids Show: Several examples, all involving hosts who don't even try to pretend they don't have tons of personal issues!
    • Homey D. Clown (Damon Wayans) rants about how the white man keeps him down while ostensibly performing as a hired entertainer for kids (which he has to do as part of his parole).
    • Candy Cane (Alexandra Wentworth) is a Yandere who tries to hook up with a Barney the Dinosaur Expy because she wants to have kids before her biological clock runs out, but is constantly dumped and threatened to be arrested for her stalkerish ways.
    • The one-shot Season Five sketch "The Scary Larry Show" is hosted by a former Vietnam vet who now works as a mailman and still has flashbacks of the war, which he spins as trips to Imagination Land.
    • A Real Life example — Pee-Wee Herman actor/creator Paul Reubens's porno theater arrest in 1991 — was the basis for a sketch in which Pee-Wee (Carrey) sells a new Pee-Wee Herman doll modeled after Reubens's mugshot.
    • One skit subverts the concept: Mister Rogers (Carrey) goes to a store and hits on female customers before holding up the place, getting away with it because a policeman can't believe he's capable of such a thing, and then picking up a hooker with the money. The subversion is that he isn't the real Mister Rogers, but an excellent impersonator who gets away with being a pervert and an asshole to everyone because no one would suspect Mister Rogers of being this way.
  • Disrupting The Theater: One skit has a movie theater where this behavior is actually encouraged — the volume is turned down on the film in order for the various conversations to take precedence. The only person to complain is a character played by Jim Carrey who is subsequently kicked out.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Kelly Coffield played Samantha Kinison in some early sketches. Culminated in one of the most hilarious sketches ever when Sam himself joined in to play the other half of a very dysfunctional couple! Coffield also played "Andrea 'Dice' Clay", a female version of Andrew "Dice" Clay.
  • Dodgy Toupee: One of the "Reality Check" public service announcements had David Alan Grier mocking a man with one. He compares him to a younger man with a full head of hair and then walks into the bar he's in with a hairdryer blowing it off, causing the patrons to laugh at him and for he to leave in shame.
  • Doorstop Baby: The "Three Champs and a Baby" skit sends up Three Men and a Baby by substituting a trio of famous boxers for the film's protagonists.
    Sugar Ray: Who ordered a baby?
    Muhammad Ali: Does it come with pepperoni?
  • Double Standard: In "Amy Fisher's Bang For Your Bucks" seminar, after following the steps of the program, a young woman played by T'keyah Crystal Keymah complains that she was sent directly to jail for her crime. After that, Amy and Joey Buttafuoco (played by Alexandra Wentworth and Jim Carrey, respectively) say that the program will only work if you're white.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Keenan's take on Little Richard on East Hollywood Squares feels this way — griping how he's been in the business longer than his contemporaries and has yet to receive even a Grammy.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In the first Fire Marshall Bill sketch (the fire safety in school sketch), Fire Marshall Bill has hairnote  and in it and a few later skits his demonstrations aren't as destructive (read: he often appears in one piece after the building he's in explodes).
    • Benita Buttrell's gossip is more mean-spirited towards people who didn't deserve it in her first appearance. Her subsequent skits would have her gossip be funnier and aimed at mostly unlikable people.
    • Blaine and Antoine's attire isn't as over-the-top in the early "Men on..." skits. Case in point: the first skit "Men on Film" has the former in pink socks and a matching handkerchief. The following one for "Men on Books" has him decked out in a silk pink pantsuit with a matching cape.
  • Enemy Mine: A Season Five skit has Rush Limbaugh and Reverend Al Sharpton (played by Jay Leggett and David Alan Grier respectively) team up with each other, despite their opposing worldviews, in a tag-team wrestling match against Howard Stern and Robin Quivers (played by Jim Carrey and T'Keyah "Crystal" Keymah respectively), who offend both men deeply.
  • Epic Fail: Magenta Thompson was rejected by a commercial for dog food (where her only "appearance" was her hand in the shot stirring the food) because it looked too bitter.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Discussed in one of Benita Buttrell's skits with her saying that a group of neighborhood children are so bad that even Chucky wouldn't play with them.
  • Expy: Jim Carrey's character in the "Foundation for Golf Heritage" sketch is basically an impression of Strother Martin's character in Cool Hand Luke, even using his famous "...failure to communicate" line from the film.
  • Film Noir: Spoofed in segments with Kelly Coffield as Velma Mulholland, a stereotypical Femme Fatale who is somehow Deliberately Monochrome while dealing with the full-color real world of The '90s...much to the confusion of those around her.
  • Freddie Mercopy: A possibly unintentional example is Carrey's recurring Environmentalist Activist, a dead ringer for Mercury's 1980s look of short, slicked back hair and a large mustache!
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the skit featuring the wall of women that basketball great Wilt Chamberlain slept with, some names featured on the wall include comedienne/actress Ruth Buzzi (whose surname is misspelled with a "y"), Drew Barrymore and 1940s singing group The Andrew Sisters.
  • Funny Background Event: The "Background Guy" skits with Carrey are based around this.
  • Gag Penis: Implied with the Cosby Condoms commercial, where Bill pulled out an oversized condom from the pack, calling it the "Hey-Hey-HEY!"
  • Gonk: "Ugly Wanda" Wayne (Jamie Foxx).
  • Gossipy Hens: Kim Wayans' Benita is one. See Hypocritical Humor below.
  • Granola Girl: A male example with Jim Carrey's Environmental Activist who is an over-the-top spoof of Political Correctness Gone Mad finding "PC violations" in virtually anything, ruining casual events like art galas and kids' birthday parties.
  • Handicapped Badass: Handi-Man.
  • Hand Puppet Mockery:
    • One memorable skit had Jim Carrey portraying Paul Reubens after the latter's 1991 arrest for indecency in a porno theatre. Although he was dressed like Pee-Wee Herman, the puppet itself was modeled after Reubens' mugshot.
    • In the "Three Champs and A Baby" skit, Mike Tyson (Keenan Ivory Wayans) had a puppet of Buster Douglas to entertain the baby claiming that he took a fall in the ring to gain $2 million dollars.
  • Hates the Job, Loves the Limelight: Homey D. Clown.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Gay?/Straight Gay: Parodied with Carrey's "Overly Confident Gay Man" who constantly reminds everybody around him he's gay in one way or another.
  • High Hopes, Zero Talent:
    • Lil Magic, who's a terrible actress, dancer, and especially singer, is nonetheless sent on countless auditions by her obnoxious Stage Mom.
    • The Funky Finger Productions creators, Clavell and Howard Tibbs III, are this in addition to being con men. They're so bad, a lot of their material comes off as Stylistic Suck.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Any skit including Joe Jackson, patriarch of the Jackson family, implies this. Most famously, he and Tito star in an ad for Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Robots with the latter winning and the former deciding to whup him because he lost.
  • Hilarity Ensues
  • Hobos: Anton Jackson.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: A "Reality Check" public service announcement had David Alan Grier compare Aretha Franklin's beautifully sung "Respect" to a man's (Jim Carrey) horrible singing. He then yells at him that he can't sing while driving and scares him out of his car.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Miss Benita "ain't one to gossip", but...
    • Just don't say nothin' bad about Ms. Jenkins near her (though that doesn't stop her from gossiping about her either).
  • Incredibly Long Note: One of the contestants on the "Miss Black Person USA" held a ten-second note while singing a song for her talent portion (and won).
  • Insane Proprietor: And how, in the Crazy Tom's Electronics sketch. This guy trades off a brand new top of the line VCRinvoked for an empty glass liquor bottle. After introducing the staff, he then recalls a regular dialogue he shares with customers:
    Crazy Tom: People come up to me, they say 'Crazy Tom?', I say what?
    Tom quoting the Customer: Just how can you give away high quality electronics at prices like these and still make a profit?!
  • Jerkass: Homey D. Clown as a byproduct of "The System".
  • Kitschy Local Commercial: One skit has Jim Carrey playing an attorney specializing in accident settlements named Lony Parker. He is stilted, with poor inflection; he even pronounces the "H" in "Me habeas Espanol".
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: To the waiter (Carrey) in the skit where a businessman is on a blind date with Grace Jones.
    Waiter: May I get you something, monsieur?
    (Grace socks him in the face)
    Waiter: I mean, madame.
  • Lesser Star: Of the recurring sketches for the Conjoined Twins entertainers, Les and Wes, Les is seen as a washed-up Unlucky Everyman in comparison to Wes, a popular and talented action star.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: A commercial for something called the "Ejector Bed" had a woman eject her lover from their bed after he disappoints her sexually.
  • Losing a Shoe in the Struggle: In the first Wanda skit that had her on The Dating Game, her date ends up losing both of his shoes when he freaked out and jumped into the host's arms upon first viewing her.
  • Losing Your Head: The premise of "The Head Detective". Fire Marshall Bill ends up doing this at the end of most of his sketches — in the last one, his head is subsequently crushed as part of Gallagher's watermelon smashing act.
  • Mad Libs Catch Phrase: Blaine and Antoine from the "Men on.." skits had several, where they would always end their program with "Two snaps and..." or a specific type of snap (i.e., Men on Videotapes had "Two snaps and a rewind" and Men on Football had "Two snaps and yo' back's in motion" while both of them shake their asses at the camera on two different ways while Men on Vacation got a special "Around the world and back snap".)
  • Malaproper:
    • Wanda the Ugly Woman. For example, during the Season 5 premiere when she's about to give birth, she says "Look, doctor, this pain is too much. I think you're gonna have to do one of them Caesar salad sectionsnote  on me."
    • Deronda and Pookie are another example.
  • The Man: Homey's mortal enemy. In a two-part sketch that bridges the Season Two finale and Season Three premiere, he purposely sells out to the Man by starring in cereal commercials where little kids humiliate him just so he can infiltrate high society...and bop the Man in the head!
  • Meaningful Name: Fire Marshall Bill Burns.
  • Mirror-Cracking Ugly: Ugly Wanda used this to her advantage in a skit where Dracula was trying to escape her clutches — noticing there's a mirror in her bedroom, he claims he hates them, so she goes up to it and says "Mirror, mirror, on the wall..." and it breaks.
    • A music video parody of Shabba Ranks' "Mr. Lover Man", titled "Mr. Ugly Man", had Shabba looking into a mirror, which of course, had cracked.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Mr. McAfee will often blame someone for violating the rules who is completely innocent, while those who actually were breaking the rules will be ignored.
  • The Mockbuster: Funky Finger Productions looks for backers for productions of this ilk. Stank Ho was their answer to Pretty Woman, and they had test footage for a fourth Penitentiary movie on hand in another skit. Many have an X Meets Y twist: The Wiz meets Flatliners, for instance.
  • My Card: Clavell and Howard Tibbs III of Funky Finger Productions use this to get attention — the former is always "fresh out" of cards for their confused potential investor, and then the latter whips out one with a "BAM!"
  • Nepotism: Most of the producers/actors were related to one another as the show was, essentially, a family business. It's very telling that most of the show's breakout stars were the ones who had no blood connection to the Wayans in any way, shape, or form (Jim Carrey, David Alan Grier, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Lopez, and Tommy Davidson).
  • Pet the Dog: While most of the other music video parodies are of the Take That! variety, the parody of "Save the Best for Last" by Vanessa Williams is more this, telling off her detractors since she was able to have a successful career after the Miss America scandal. The spoof of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back", "Baby Got Snacks", sees the singer celebrating overweight women and is mostly played for goofy laughs, but also has the lyrics "So just give her a hug/'Cause there's more to love/Ain't nothing wrong with being big!"
  • Phrase Catcher: Magenta Thompson's film roles are all bit parts where characters tell her, "Get out of my way, bitch!".
  • Pitbull Dates Puppy:
    • The second edition of Love Connection had Andrea Dice Clay (played by Kelly Coffield) go on a date with Patrick Swayze (portrayed by Jim Carrey) and the latter being a sensitive guy who was increasingly uneasy by the former's crass language and behavior.
    • Anyone who ended up with Kim Wayans' Grace Jonesnote  (especially Harvey) ended up as the puppy to her pitbull.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: "Impostor", Jim Carrey's parody of "Informer" by Snow. Also Jim Carrey's Vanilla Ice parody, "White, White Baby".
  • Product Placement: In the first "Three Champs and a Baby" skit, thinking the baby has roaches (rashes) Muhammad Ali brings out a can of d-CON spray to endorse onscreen.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Marc Wilmore, a writer for the show who appeared in a number of sketches, became a cast member in the fifth and final season.
  • Race Lift: Most of the sketches that posed the question, "What if [X celebrity] was black?" Also, there was "All Up in the Family" and "East Hollywood Squares" from the final season.
  • Rearrange the Song/Replaced the Theme Tune: The show's original theme was replaced in Season 3, but returned in a remixed version in Season 5.
  • Re-Release Soundtrack: The DVD releases have a lot of sketches either edited to remove song references or entire music video parodies, which often serve as the show's cold opening, removed.
  • "Risky Business" Dance: A Black Comedy version, where the Menendez brothers do the dance while wielding rifles.
  • Scatterbrained Senior: Don Cornelius is portrayed as one in the "Old Train" skit, even at one point calling himself Don Corleone.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Snow screams like one at the end of the "Imposter" video after he's confronted by the Rastafarians he stole the technique of his rap-reggae from.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Jamie Foxx's take on Bill Cosby has him threatening to buy the Fox network after his game show You Bet Your Career was abruptly canceled midway through the episode.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Averted and parodied with Oswald Bates. See Delusions of Eloquence above.
  • Sketch Comedy
  • Soap Box Sadie: A male example with Jim Carrey's Environmental Activist who is an over-the-top spoof of Political Correctness Gone Mad finding PC "violations" in virtually anything, ruining casual events like art galas and kids' birthdays.
  • Something Completely Different: Occasionally, there will be a something different for the show, like as a Clip Show or even a different mode of the opening with the Fly Girls, such as one memorable segment where Heavy D appeared with the women and rapped the opening credits or where the three women stars took the place of dancing in the opening due to tying-up the Fly Girls.
  • Spin-Off: "All Up in the Family" (a take-off on All in the Family, where the Bunkers are black) was spun off from an installment of the "What if [X celebrity] was black?" series of sketches.
  • Stage Mom: Li'l Magic's mother played by David Alan Grier.
  • Take That!:
    • The show made fun of everything under the sun, but it was particularly cutting in a skit that mocked NBC's Saturday Night Live for underusing its own African-American cast members (such as Tim Meadowsnote  and Chris Rocknote ).
    • Any reference to Vanilla Ice, Milli Vanilli or Arsenio Hall was going to be a negative one. Even in one Fire Marshall Bill skit when an alien species is in his stomach, he's not worried, saying that he's "had more parasites living off of him than Eddie Murphy!"
  • Tap on the Head: Happens to Blaine in the first half of the famous "Men on Television" two-parter when a mysterious sand bag fell on him that apparently turned him straight. One sucker punch from Antoine in the second half turned him back.
  • Theme Tune Rap: By Heavy D (who also did the theme to MADtv).
  • Those Two Guys: A ton: Clavell & Howard Tibbs III of Funky Finger Productions, The Brothers Brothers, Reverends Ed Cash & Dr. Carl Pathos and Whiz & Ice from the Homeboyz Shopping Network.
  • Token Minority: Steve Park in Season 3 was the show's only Asian cast member.
  • Token White: Jim Carrey (the most popular of the five), Kelly Coffield, Alexandra Wentworth, Carol Rosenthal, and Jay Leggett. Also, a couple of the Fly Girls.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: During her role in one of the Friday the 13th films, Magenta Thompson was apparently so uninteresting that not even Jason wished to kill her, saying "Outta my way, bitch!" while he went and savagely murdered another woman.
  • Two Decades Behind: Quite a few sketches reference '70s trends and pop culture, especially in Season Five. Sweet Tooth Jones is a fight choreographer (as opposed to karate master) with a Blaxploitation motif and theme music. Some of the Race Lift sketches spoof '70s TV shows like All in the Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. "East Hollywood Squares" sketches feature a number of '70s celebrities (both guest stars and ones portrayed by the cast members) as panelists. Even parodies of recent pop culture could get a '70s twist — the 1992 Mel Gibson film Forever Young was parodied as "Forever Silky", about a cryogenically-frozen pimp from 1971.
  • Typecasting: invoked One character named Magenta Thompson was an actress who always had roles where she is always pushed aside and told by the pusher to "get out of my way, bitch!" This happens even when she is a playing a coma patient, or a potential victim in the latest Friday the 13th film.
  • Uncle Tomfoolery: Black Like Me with Tom and Tom which pits the two titular black Brothers Brothers parodies usually against an Angry Black Man.
  • Variety Show
  • Verbal Tic: In Amy Fisher's "Band For Your Bucks" seminar, the phrase "Over here!" (in a thick Long Island accent) is said by every featured character, including the prison guard.
  • Where da White Women At?: The tribal men in the "New Republic of Naganawanaland" skit are eager to have their way with appointed ambassador Margaret Linsford Hall. Thanks to her interpreter Mr. Mobutu teaching her a phrase to close her speech with.
    "I am really turned on by black men who wear beads. You may all come to my quarters for a coconut oil party."
  • Where No Parody Has Gone Before: Jim Carrey plays Captain Kirk in two Star Trek parody sketches. "The Wrath of [Louis] Farrakhan" has them come up against the leader of the Nation of Islam, and the other skit has a now-geriatric Kirk and company trying to recapture old glories before the attendants from their nursing home catch up with them.
  • Who's Your Daddy?: In "Three Champs and a Baby", the baby belonged to a woman named Judy, whom they met at a New Year's party (and each slept with her at different times). So they decided to take turns raising the baby.
    Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali, and Sugar Ray: Ohhhhh, Juuuuudy.
  • A Wild Rapper Appears!:
    • Tommy Davidson plays one named Shawn in Snow's "Imposter" (and is quite angry over how he got famous for stealing from Rastafarians and says he's only there "to increase his credibility").
    • Jamie Foxx portrays one in the spoof of Bobby Brown's "Humpin' Around" featuring Bill Clinton.
  • World of Ham: This is very much the spirit of the series and its performers, justified considering the environment they're in. Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans, David Alan Grier and Tommy Davidson were most likely to engage in this to the point of becoming Ham-to-Ham Combat.
  • Worst Wedding Ever: One Dysfunctional Family Home Show with Grampa Jack episode has his daughter getting married. In addition to him being drunk, he hates her Black husband-to-be and tries to attack him, her own grandmother makes fun of her wearing a white dress, she's heavily pregnant and she gives birth to a White baby at the altar, prompting several men, including the reverend, to run out of the wedding after her husband angrily asks why the baby is White.
  • You Are Fat: While appearing on You Bet Your Career, Sinbad proceeds to make fun of Delta Burke for this, even making a joke of "What's the difference between Delta Burke and Delta Airlines, man? 20 pounds!"
  • Yo Mama: The recurring game show sketch The Dirty Dozens, where contestants use "Yo Mama" jokes against each other for cash and prizes.

AAAAAAAAAH HAAAAAAAAA! Thank you very much!


Video Example(s):


"Miss Black Person USA"

One of the contestants on the "Miss Black Person USA" held a ten-second note while singing a song for her talent portion (and won).

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / IncrediblyLongNote

Media sources:

Main / IncrediblyLongNote