Sketchy Comedy

by Alan Rapp on December 7, 2005

in Uncategorized

In Living Color, AKA Fox’s first attempt at an SNL type show was is an interesting little slice of early 90’s history.  From the mind of Keenan Ivory Williams the show was set up to put his family to work and provide some inconsistantly funny sketches.

In Living Color – Season Four
2 Stars

What’s the legacy of In Living Color?  Even though most of the recurring sketches and characters have been long forgotten the show did have a strong following during it’s run and jump started the careers of Damon Wayans, Jim Carey, Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Lopez.

The fourth season of In Living Color introduces “Fly Girl” Jennifer Lopez and adds another Wayan, Marlon Wayans, to the company payroll.  The sketches from the season include returning original characters like Fire Marshall Bill, the Head Detective, and Men on Film.  Also included are some pretty good parodies such as the “Def Comedy Jam” parody which is a wicked take on live audiences that laugh at mediocre material.  There’s also a best of parodies episode include spoofs on Superfly, Basic Instinct and Silence of the Lambs.

Jim Carrey is the gem of the bunch and besides his role of of Fire Marshall Bill he does a Ross Perot impersonation, the father of the Dystfunctional Home Show, and his William Shatner impersonation in a Rescue 911 spoof and a Star Trek spoof.

Damon Wayans provides many of the laughs with his roles as the Head Detective, one half of the Men on Film, Handiman, and Homey D. Clown.  One of the episodes is a best of Men of Film which includes clips from this season and other season including Blayne’s short live heterosexuality.

Not all the comedy comes off and much of it misses the mark.  For every one that works there are two or three that don’t.  For example the recurring character of Wanda (Jamie Foxx) who’s whole character is she’s an ugly and not very smart woman.  Though one of the sketches does lead to an appearance by En Vogue.  The show was very popular with urban music and hip hop and you get performances by the likes of Naughty by Nature and Mary J. Blige.  You also get group after group of very forgettable bands such as Digital Planets, but hey at least JLo and the Fly Girls can dance to anything.

The comedy is real hit-and-miss especially for a fourth season show.  Longtime fans of the show will really enjoy it but I think for the casual viewer the $40 price tag is much too high for what you actually get.

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