I’m a huge fan of comedy and hip hop, and there’s no other show that combined these two things better than In Living Color. In Living Color, created by brothers Keenan and Damon Wayans, aired between 1990-1994 on Fox, a time when the network was at its all-time peak airing other controversial shows like Beverly Hills, 90210, New York Undercover and the X-Files.
From the moment you saw the opening credits of the show you were hit with a catchy hip hop tune that made you want to get up and shake your booty. Other shows that did this were Living Single, Martin and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. They made you want to keep watching in hopes of hearing more good music…and you ultimately did.
In addition to good music, In Living Color featured Fly Girls (pre JLO) and such raunchy, offensive humor that it smacked you in the face so hard it made you cry. Homey D. Clown bashing kids in the head with his stuffed sock. Fire Marshall Bill chopping his hand in the blender. Men on Film giving two snaps in a Z formation. Wanda trying to rock a man’s world. These are just a few of the sketches that made this one of the funniest shows in history. (You can see all of the sketches here).
Parodies of pop culture icons like Michael Jackson, MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice were even funnier than the original sketches. How so, you ask? Here’s my pick for the top 10 funny parodies:
10. Crystal Waters – “My Songs are Mindless”
Best lyrics: “I’ll never run out of songs because I just bought cable. 100 channels.”
9. Paula Abdul – “Promise of a Thin Me”
Best lyrics: “I cheered the Lakers and taught Janet to dance, then I got into Arsenio’s pants.”
8. Career Aid – “We Are the World”
Best lyrics: Lionel Ritchie – “At least you guys weren’t beaten up by your wives.”
7. Tracy Chapman – “I Write a Fast Song”
Best lyrics: “Oh no Mrs. Walker tripped over a cat.”
6. Jimmy Walker – “Mama Said Knock You Out”
Best lyrics: “I made my rounds in the Hollywood circle, but now I’m being dissed by Urkel.”
5. Snow – “Imposter”
Best lyrics: “Hear me on the radio think I couldn’t be blacker, but on my video I’m really a cracker.”
4. Trail-Mix-a -Lot – “Baby’s Got Snacks”
Best lyrics: “Neck so thick she could eat a brick if it’s laid by Frito Lay.”
3. MC Hammer – “You Can’t Touch This”
Best lyrics: “Every time you see me, the Hammer’s on a roll, even with my head sticking out the zipper hole.”
2. Michael Jackson – “Am I Black or White?”
Best lyrics: “I’m still a virgin and I’m 33, even Madonna won’t have sex with me.”
1. Vanilla Ice – “Ice Ice Baby”
Best lyrics: “I told the world I was stabbed in the butt, but it was a toilet paper cut.”