In Living Color was a popular sketch comedy television series that aired on Fox from April 15, 1990 to May 19, 1994. The series was created by Keenen Ivory Wayans and featured a predominantly African American cast of comedians and actors. In Living Color was known for its edgy, politically incorrect humor and launched the careers of several well-known comedians and actors such as Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, and Jennifer Lopez.
In Living Color was considered groundbreaking for its time due to its portrayal of African American culture in a sketch comedy format. The series featured hip hop dancing, music acts, and comedy sketches covering a wide range of topics from pop culture parodies to political satire. In Living Color paved the way for future Black sketch comedy shows while highlighting Black comedic talent.
During its original run on Fox, In Living Color spanned 5 seasons over the course of 4 years, airing a total of 134 episodes before ending its initial run in 1994. However, the series was briefly revived on Fox for an additional season in 2012 with Keenen Ivory Wayans returning as showrunner. Across both its original and revival run, In Living Color aired for a total of 6 seasons on Fox.
Original Run (Seasons 1-5)
In Living Color’s original run lasted 5 seasons from 1990 to 1994, airing on Sunday nights on Fox. Here is a breakdown of the original 5 seasons:
Season 1 of In Living Color premiered on April 15, 1990 and consisted of just 13 episodes due to a brief mid-season run. Subsequent seasons were longer, with seasons 2-5 each consisting of 26 episodes airing over a full season.
In Living Color was an immediate hit when it debuted in 1990, drawing in an impressive viewership with its unique blend of comedy and music. The series became popular for its Fly Girls hip hop dance troupe featuring a young Jennifer Lopez, and for launching the acting careers of Jim Carrey and Jamie Foxx who became breakout stars through popular skits.
Some of the most well-known recurring sketches and characters from In Living Color’s original 5 season run included:
- Homey D. Clown – played by Damon Wayans
- Fire Marshal Bill – played by Jim Carrey
- Men on Film – Blaine Edwards and Antoine Merriweather played by Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier
- Vera de Milo – female bodybuilder played by Jim Carrey
- Anton Jackson – homeless heckler played by Damon Wayans
In Living Color helped launch the careers of the Wayans brothers, Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Rock, David Alan Grier, Tommy Davidson, and more. However, Keenen Ivory Wayans left after Season 3 due to disputes with Fox regarding censorship and creative control. Ratings began declining in later seasons leading Fox to ultimately cancel the show in 1994 after 5 seasons and 134 total episodes.
Revival Run (Season 6)
After a hiatus of almost 20 years, Fox revived In Living Color for one final season in 2012. Keenen Ivory Wayans returned as the showrunner for the revival which aired as a mid-season replacement. Here are the details for Season 6:
The revived sixth season of In Living Color aired for just 8 episodes in the spring of 2012 on Fox. The reboot brought back some of the original cast members like David Alan Grier, Shawn Wayans, and Tommy Davidson while also featuring new cast members and guests like Jennifer Hudson, Lil Rel Howery, and Macy Gray.
While the revival did garner some initial interest, it failed to capture the magic of the original series and struggled in the ratings. As a result, Fox decided not to renew In Living Color beyond the 8 episode order for Season 6. This marked the official end of In Living Color after 134 original episodes and 8 revival episodes spanning 6 total seasons.
In Living Color originally aired for 5 seasons from 1990 to 1994, totaling 134 episodes during its initial run on Fox. The series pushed creative boundaries and launched the careers of several prominent Black comedians and entertainers. After ending in 1994, In Living Color was briefly revived in 2012 for an eighth and final season consisting of just 8 episodes.
Across its entirety, In Living Color spanned 6 seasons and 142 episodes over the course of 22 years. It left an indelible mark on sketch comedy and 1990s pop culture. In Living Color broke barriers with its predominantly Black cast and unapologetic humor that influenced generations of comedians and performers.
Though its revival season was short-lived, the original 5 season run of In Living Color remains one of the most groundbreaking sketch comedy series. The show paved the way for more diversity in entertainment by proudly showcasing Black culture through a unique blend of subversive comedy and hip hop.
- In Living Color originally aired for 5 seasons from 1990 to 1994, totaling 134 episodes
- The show was briefly revived in 2012 for an 8 episode sixth season
- Across its entire run, In Living Color spanned 6 seasons and 142 episodes over 22 years
So in total, In Living Color was on TV for 6 seasons from 1990 to 1994 and then again briefly in 2012. It left a lasting impact on sketch comedy and 1990s pop culture with its edgy humor and diverse cast.