Homey Don’t Play That! The Story of In Living Color and the Black Comedy Revolution by David Peisner (5 out of 5)

I loved this show. My brother and I would sit and watch it every Sunday. It’s testimony to the open minds that our parents had. More likely, my Dad was busy having beers and dinner and Mom was cleaning up after dinner, so they weren’t paying much attention. My Mom is the same woman who had issues with me playing certain songs on the Prince album “1999” that she got me in the first place. Irony is sometimes stronger than the person(s) carrying them out. I’m just happy that Peisner sat down and wrote this book, so there’s a record of it for anyone who wasn’t around for it. It must not be forgotten!

Keenen Ivory Wayans had more than one vision floating around in his head. As the oldest child of 12 growing up in a tough neighborhood, he tried his best to get along day by day. His life is transformed forever when he watches a Richard Pryor comedy special. He knows that he wants to do the same thing with his life, but how? Peisner provides a detailed account of the Wayans family, their neighborhood, black culture around the time things are starting to happen, and black history to paint a comprehensive portrait of what Wayans and the country were up against. Wayans fought a long and hard battle to bring his dream into existence, and anyone who grew up loving the show will end up loving it even more after reading this in-depth look. What more can be said? Amazing cast, edgy commentary comedy, musical discoveries, and far-reaching evolution as far as the development of future black comedy showcases. P.S. I really don’t believe there will ever be another comic showcase as influential as “In Living Color” was. I further enjoyed the interviews with the principles of the show, and the shock that came with realizing how many celebs were connected to the show in some fashion. As things are wont to happen, Fox pulled some dirty deeds on Wayans, and he pulled out of the show not long before the end. All good things come to an end. Unfortunately, also true with this book. A fantastic look at a fantastic show. It’s currently available in hardcover, brought to us by the fine folks at Atria (an imprint of Simon & Schuster).

~ by generationgbooks on April 12, 2018.

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