What’s ‘In Living Color,’ The Inspiration Behind Bruno Mars’ + Cardi B’s ‘Finesse’ Video?
As of Thursday morning (January 4), Bruno Mars' and Cardi B's video for the remix to Mars' "Finesse" was the No. 1 trending clip on YouTube, and Mars thanked "one of my favorite TV shows of all time" for serving as inspiration.
So what is In Living Color, the show used as Mars' point of reference?
Debuting on FOX in April 15, 1990, the comedy sketch show, created by Keenen and Damon Wayans, served as the brothers' attempt to match the success of Saturday Night Live, but with a cast that featured artists of color more prominently. And it didn't take long for the show to land — it won the Emmy for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series the year it debuted and, at its peak, reached 25 million viewers.
"I wanted to do a show that reflects different points of view," Keenen told USA Today in a 1990 interview. "Minority talent is not in the system and you have to go outside...We went beyond the Comedy Stores and Improvs, which are not showcase places for minorities."
And In Living Color never played it safe — the Wayans brothers frequently found themselves at odds with the network for pushing the boundaries and taking hard stances on race relations within the industry. Recurring sketches like "The Homeboy Shopping Network" and "Men on Film" were some standouts, and the show helped to launch the careers of Jamie Foxx, Jim Carrey, David Alan Grier, Kim Coles and T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh.
But it wasn't just about the comedy — the show also welcomed musical acts like Mary J. Blige, Arrested Development and Tupac, included guest stars like Chris Rock and, of course, featured the likes of the famous Fly Girls, the show's resident dance troupe. The Fly Girls famously made household names out of Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Ann Inaba and Rosie Perez, who served as choreographer.
In Living Color aired its final episode on May 19, 1994.
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