on April 8, 2004
I recalled some laughs watching this show 10+ years ago, so I figured I would "go for it".
1. The "Men on..." sketches. Two snaps in a circle. Tickle me pink!
2. Homey D. Clown. Would like him in every episode but..."Homey don't play dat".
3. Anton the wino. Remodels his house and installs mason-jar bathroom. Also has his day in court. Big on snot.
4. The PSA's for higher learning. Your colonic orifice glows in putrifaction. Let me spew my bowels if I may.
Those are the stand-outs. There are about 5 or 6 other good skits - spread out over 13 shows.
1. Long intro credits.
2. Fly girls not really that great - (sorry, not into hip hop gyration).
3. Keenen's intro to every show was identical - comes out of door - "Hi, I'm Keenen Ivory Wayans. This is In Living Color. I just want to introduce our DJ, SW1. And these are the fly girls, A, B, C, and D." Goes back in door.
4. Two episodes have a "commentary" for lack of a better term, by cast-member Tommy Davidson. Sparce comments are mostly telling us how great the show is.
5. "Fly girl featurette" had a lot of talking by Rosie Perez (choreographer), which caused me to pass on it.
Short "featurette" was OK - mostly comments from production/writing/casting department - about how great the show is.
There is a lot of so-so stuff, although it is obviously personal preference. Comedy is a tough business. Not sure if I will pop for season 2.
on April 4, 2004
"In Living Color" was so fresh, energetic, and hilarious when it first hit the Fox airwaves that you wondered how it could possibly keep up that level of entertainment. Well, it couldn't, exactly, but those first few shows, and many moments during the rest of the season, were insanely funny and groundbreaking.
Like all good sketch comedy, "In Living Color" immediately set out to create its own collection of recurring crazies (rather than the current SNL-method of mostly relying on celeb impressions), and look at how many still resonate: Fire Marshal Bill, the Men on Film, Anton, Homey...and so on. The show's genius is that it went for laughs anywhere it could - it could be richly satirical or downright silly and scatalogical, often in the same sketch. It basically counted on the intelligence and variety of its audience in a way that we haven't seen since, except maybe with "The Daily Show." "In Living Color" was edgy to the point of discomfort sometimes, but we wanted that too - everything else felt saccharine and safe next to "ILC," and we were ready to push some boundaries.
Eventually "In Living Color" would degenerate into low-minded skits based on grotesque impressions, gross-outs, and cruelty. But for one brief shining moment - captured on this DVD set - we all wanted to live In Living Color.
on April 9, 2004
This was an outstanding show back in the day. It had an excellent run until the last season; the Wayans left and the skits simply were not all that funny (except for Duke the dog which is absolutely hysterical). So, the show was cancelled and for years, fans have been crying for this series to be released on DVD. It's finally here.
A few of the show's signature characters still had yet to be created, but Season one has Men on "...," Homey D. Clown, Vera De Milo and Anton; all terrific characters. I think the funniest skit on this particular season is Ted Turner's colorization of classic movies. For Casablanca, he adds a black Humphrey Bogart played by Keenan Ivory Wayans. He says, "Play it, Stevie." Suddenly, Stevie Wonder (played by Tommy Davidson) starts wailing out "As Time Goes By." It's hilarious! Seasons to follow would be a little funnier, but this first season isn't a bad way to start out. Keep in mind it's from 1990 and In Living Color was always spoofing current events, so some of it may be a bit dated (in one skit, Jesse Jackson is president in the year 2004). But if you loved the show then, it's a gem to own.
In Living Color pushed the envelope as far as it would go for network television and the results are splendid. It's the program Chappelle's Show WANTS to be.
on June 2, 2004
I remember in 1990, when I was four years old, and my parents always had In Living Color on the living room TV, and I would sit out there and watch it with them. (Perhaps this is where I got my sense of humour from.) Looking back, I was probably the only kid in my preschool with a Homey The Clown t-shirt.
Fast-forward to early 2004. One day in one of the entertainment stores I frequent, I noticed this new box set. I was immediately intrigued, remembering some sketches from my childhood. So I rented Disc 3 from [my video store], and that was it. That was enough for me to buy the box set.
Now I'm 18, and I love In Living Color Season One. This set is hilarious. Watching these old sketches, it's easy to see why Jim Carrey, the Wayanses, and David Alan Grier are all stars now; they're great on this show! What In Living Color is, for those of you who don't know, is a sketch comedy show from 1990, sort of in the vein of Mad TV. True, it's a little dated, but as long as you have at least SOME knowledge of late-80's/early-90's pop culture, you should get most of the jokes. My favorite sketches on here are Men On (Whatever) (I could watch this sketch over and over for a week and it wouldn't get old), Homey The Clown, Vera De Milo, The Brothers Brothers, Homeboy Shopping Network, America's Funniest Security Camera Videos, Calhoun Tubbs, etc. True, some sketches fall flat (Black World), but most of them crack me up.
Anyway, I recommend this box set to anyone in the mood for a good, classic sketch comedy show.
Also, in the beginning of the America's Funniest Security Camera Videos sketch, when they're showing the initial shot of the audience, look closely - Kid 'N' Play (the guys from House Party) are there! (At least I think it's them...)
on April 10, 2004
When I heard that the DVD was coming out, I said "Finally!" It's about time! What made this show so memorable were the many, the most humourous, laugh-out-loud, characters they played. The first season of the show was great, but they didn't have people like Jamie Foxx, who in my opinion was the funniest person on the show, right next to Jim Carrey. Some of the people from this show eventually became celebrities like Jamie Foxx and Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans, and the other Wayans brothers, Shawn and Marlin, David Allen Grier who's on Life With Bonnie, Alexandra Wentworth who's doing a morning talk show with some other guy, Kim Wayans, and so many others. The only few people who started with the show, from the very beginning, up until the end when it got cancelled was probably Jim, and Tommy Davidson. I'm surprised and shocked that they only lasted for 4 seasons. They should have gone further because remembering all the sketches, that I can remember, I just remember laughing so hard at everything, like Jamie Foxx's character Wanda, with the stereotypical black person's big lips, the Men on Films sketches with Damon and David, hilarious.
The main thing about this DVD is that there were a lot of characters that down the line became very big stars on their own right, like Men on Film, Anton the wino, Calhoun Tubbs, Homey 'D' Clown, Vera DeMilo, and a few others. We don't however get to see Jim Carrey's signature character, Fire Marshall Bill "Let me show ya something...", until the later seasons. Another thing about the DVD is that there aren't a lot of special features, mainly of them being commentaries by Tommy Davidson on two episodes, a little featurette from crew talking about how the show was radical and so out there and so up to date (1990), and also a very brief thing on the Fly Girls. In short, if you're looking for more special features, this isn't the DVD for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for content and humor, and just the show itself, then this is the DVD for you! And a lot of the episodes will seem shorter because there are no commercial breaks, so you get this continuous block of sketches one after the other each episode. There are 3 DVDs, the first two with 5 episodes each, and the third one with only 3, but it gives you the special features. An important option they have on the DVD is where you click on 'play all' and it will start from the beginning playing all the episodes without stopping in between, instead of the option where you pick an episode from the list and play it, only to have it stop then click on the next episode to play. Nonetheless, a great buy for diehard fans!
What I really can't wait to see are their blooper reel. I really hope they dedicate one whole DVD, or even more to the blooper reel, because I remember watching an episode that was just bloopers, and they cracked me up so hard that my stomache was hurting and I couldn't breathe. I was lucky enough to download an excerpt of that episode from Kazaa (who I don't download from anymore since with all the viruses going around), but that wasn't enough. I need more!!! Anyway, if you haven't gotten this DVD, then get it, because this show was and is historical, monumental, and brave with their comedy.
The only reason I'm giving it a 4 star rating is because there just isn't enough features. Other than that, it's the best!!!
on May 19, 2004
I don't understand why folks are making all these comments about the show being "dated." Seeing as how it aired over 10 years ago, naturally it is full of references to the events and personalities of that time. To me "dated" means something that does NOT hold up well over time, as opposed to "classic", meaning that which DOES stand the test of time. If this material still makes us laugh today, which it does, then it obviously is not dated, but truly classic. Granted, you need to know something about the culture of the time period in which the show was created or you will miss much of the humor. This is true of any topical sketch comedy show. In the case of ILC, it would only be the very young who wouldn't get it and a lot of this stuff is too risque for them, anyway. This show richly deserves its DVD release. Don't forget this is only the first season on this disk. Some other sketches people complained about not being included were probably in later seasons, the DVD release of which will hopefully soon follow!
on June 9, 2004
One of the greatest shows ever created has been finally put on DVD. Even though I was young when this series came out in the early 90's i still remember and enjoy it the same. After watching the entire 1st season, it reminds me why I like the show so much. Skits like Men on film, art, and books, homey the clown, and anton jackson are so cutting edge. Even some of the things they said shocked me so I know they were shocking 15 yrs ago. I absolutely love Kim Wayans. I wish she did more things I also loved her on In the House. I had no idea that the mother on the disney show, "That's so Raven" got her start on I.L.C. Although the Wayans, David Alan Grier, Jim Carrey, and Tommy Davidson are funny I wish I could have seen more of Kim Coles, or Synclaire, more on the show. (That's another show that should follow suit, Living Single). I even loved the Fly Girls, Dedra and Lisa were my favorite. From the cutting edge jokes, to the "Two snaps up" from Antoine Merriweather is pure classic. I love this season and I can't wait for the rest. Fave skits: Men On...., Homey the Clown, Anton, Grace Jones, Endangered Species, the Hedleys with all the jobs, Oprah, and Andrea dice clay!
on April 19, 2004
I was ecstatic when I saw this was coming out! I used to watch "In Living Color" every week when I was younger. I didn't always understand the jokes, but I knew funny when I saw it. To me, "In Living Color" was what true comedy was all about. The blunt, unapologetic, and in-your-face delivery forced you to laugh at and with characters like Homey the Clown, Vera DeMilo, Ms. Benita Butrell, Men on Film/Art/Books, and the many other characters and impersonations that made their mark on the show. The first season is probably my favorite of the show's run simply because the first dose was fresh and unexpected. Following seasons got a little predictable, but still provided plenty of laughs. The best skits on this DVD set include the two Homey the Clown skits, the three Men On... skits, the Oprah parody, Rhythmless Nation (making fun of Whitney Houston), the Old Train, the introduction of Benita Butrell... well, let's just say there's too many to name here. I recommend this DVD if you like "In Living Color" in the past, and still find yourself talking about it with your friends today.
on June 4, 2004
I loved In Living Color in the 1990's. After watching the first season DVD though, I don't think that was the best season. As for the DVD itself, I don't understand why they had to have the introduction before each new episode. It would have been better to splice together all the episodes without the theme song and introduction.
In addition, things that were VERY funny in the 1990's just don't do it for me today. I just think that old phrase, "you can't go back," applies so well with past tv shows. There are some "old" tv shows that stand the test of time, Beverly Hillbillies, I Love Lucy, etc., but many others are too period oriented to really be funny in a new era.
Don't get me wrong, I laughed but I did so more because I was reminiscing about how funny I remember the episode was when I saw it in 1990. One episode that stood the test of time though is the Michael Jackson potatoe head episode. Michael is the same today as he was in the 1990's which is sad considering the fact that the joke was about his plastic surgery and skin discoloration.
Anyway, I would recommend this DVD but I can't honestly say that I was in love with this DVD. I also was not in love with David Chappelle's DVD and I absolutely love his show. There's something to be said about the presentation of compliation episodes on DVD and one requirement should be the exclusion of theme music, credits and so forth after every epidsode.
on April 20, 2004
Boy, it seems like things have gotten worse in the last fifteen years, in terms of race relations at least. We keep hearing about groups of kids in high schools holding all-White proms or all-Black proms, racially-exclusive fraternities are sprouting up on every college campus, communities everywhere seem to be becoming more segregated, and the amount of anger floating around on all sides seems to drown out whatever hope we have for the future. A modest proposal: put everyone together in a room and have them watch In Living Color. It couldn't hurt, and it might just get rid of some of all the tension. They can mail me my Nobel Peace Prize after all the problems disappear.
In Living Color is a testament to how great comedy can transcend anything. The sketches still bring a smile with their cleverness: the Homeboyz Shopping Network, Fire Marshall Bill (which worked due to Jim Carrey's general weirdness), Men on Film, and, of course, the legendary Homey D. Clown, played to comic perfection by Damon Wayans. This show served as a launching pad for young entertainers: Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans, David Allan Grier, Chris Rock (in later seasons), and Jennifer Lopez, to name a few.
All in all, there is little point in reading all the glowing reviews attesting to the value of this set. Just check it out for yourself, and you'll see one of the most underrated sitcoms ever at its prime.