You can do what you wanna do in living color!
In the late 1980s, Keenen Ivory Wayans was enjoying the success of his cult hit I’m Gonna Git You Sucka. And although he was only interested in pursuing film, Fox called with an offer Keenen couldn’t refuse. The result was a show that was unlike anything else on-air.
“At that time, Fox wasn’t even a network. They were a startup. And I really didn’t have interest in that because I wanted to pursue film,” Keenen told The Hollywood Reporter. “But they said to me, ‘You know if you come here you can pretty much do anything you want to do.’”
What he ended up creating was a predominantly Black sketch comedy show that continuously pushed the envelope and gave voice to a new brand of humor. In Living Color officially hit the small screen in April of 1990 — forever changing television, and launching the careers of several famous cast members.
In honor of the Emmy-winning sketch comedy series, let’s take a look at some of the show’s stars and where they’re at these days!
Keenen Ivory Wayans
The oldest Wayans brother and Emmy-winning creator of In Living Color, Keenen went on to see plenty of success after the sketch comedy show. He had his own talk show in the late ‘90s and recently served as a judge for Last Comic Standing. Keenen wrote multiple films including White Chicks, Little Man, and Dance Flick.
But perhaps most notably, he directed Scary Movie — which was the highest-grossing movie ever directed by an African American until Fantastic Four eventually took the title in 2005.
David Alan Grier
David Alan Grier got his start in theater before starring on In Living Color, so it comes as no surprise that he eventually returned to Broadway.
He has also remained very active on screen, with roles in a number of movies and series, including starring roles on The Cool Kids and The Carmichael Show. You can also catch him as the Cowardly Lion in The Wiz Live! from 2015 or voicing the titular character on Clifford the Big Red Dog.
After acting alongside her brothers on In Living Color, she has continued to land roles in TV shows and movies. She starred in In the House, Juwanna Mann, Dance Flick, and Reckless.
More recently, she appeared on Marlon Wayans’ Marlon. In 2011, she snagged a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the 2012 Black Reel Awards for her role in Pariah.
After In Living Color, Jim Carrey went on to star in some of the biggest comedic films of the ‘90s: Dumb and Dumber, The Mask, Liar Liar, Ace Ventura, and The Truman Show.
He also played the Riddler in Batman Forever. His success certainly didn’t slow in the ‘00s, with movies like Bruce Almighty and Me, Myself & Irene, plus he showed a more serious side with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Most recently, he starred in the Showtime series Kidding and played Dr. Robotnik in the live-action Sonic the Hedgehog.
Jennifer Lopez went from Fly Girl to A-lister. Although she appeared on In Living Color as a dancer, she pursued singing and acting, soon becoming a household name.
She has enjoyed tons of success as a singer (although she’s still just “Jenny From the Block”), but she’s seen an equally fruitful acting career. Her first breakout role was in the Selena biopic, but she has starred in movies like Maid in Manhattan, The Wedding Planner, and most recently, Hustlers. She also dipped her toes into TV, with the crime drama Shades of Blue.
Comedian and actor Tommy Davidson continued to do standup after In Living Color. You’ve also seen him in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, The Proud Family, Frat Pack, and Black Dynamite. Most recently, he returned to voice Oscar Proud on the Disney+ revival The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder.
Carrie Ann Inaba
After busting a few moves as a Fly Girl, Carrie Ann Inaba has been a judge on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars since 2005. You can also catch her as a co-host on CBS’s The Talk. Fun fact: Carrie Ann Inaba actually started her path to stardom as a popular singer in Japan.
Following his time on In Living Color, Jamie Foxx has definitely made a name for himself.
He’s had prominent roles in Django Unchained, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and 2014’s Annie. Most notably, though, Jamie won an Oscar, a Golden Globe Award, and BAFTA Award for his work in the biographical film Ray. You can catch him hosting the Fox game show Beat Shazam, which he also executive produced. He also voiced the lead character in 2020’s Soul.
It’s not all acting, either — Jamie picked up two Grammys, for “Blame It” in 2010 and “Gold Digger” with Kanye West in 2006.
After serving as the Emmy-nominated Fly Girls choreographer, Rosie Perez crossed into acting. She’s had roles in White Men Can’t Jump, Birds of Prey, Fearless (which led to an Oscar nod), and she starred in the horror flick The Dead Don’t Die. She also served as a co-host on The View in 2014 and starred on NBC’s Rise.
I can’t think of Damon Wayans without imagining his “Men On Film” character wearing super-tiny hats. But after In Living Color, Damon went on to star in sitcoms like My Wife and Kids (which he also co-created), and recently starred as Roger Murtaugh in the TV series Lethal Weapon, and appeared on the big screen in Major Payne.