We all love Amy Schumer, everyone knows how brilliant Key & Peele are, and you’ve watched Will Ferrell’s classic SNL sketches countless of times. But in this weekly column Sketchy MVPs, The Laugh Button shines a light on comedians from our favorites shows and troupes who don’t often get rightful credit for their contributions to sketch comedy.
In Living Color left an enormous mark on TV (not just comedy) in the early 90s, featuring a diverse cast that often pushed the envelope on both wild and politically driven humor. It also gave future stars like Damon Wayans, Jim Carrey, Jamie Fox and even Jennifer Lopez (ok, she didn’t act in the show, but was one of the Fly Girl dancers) their first big breaks. Yet one of the show’s most consistent performers was David Allan Grier, capable of playing a wide variety of characters in any given scenario (politically inspired or simply outlandish).
Grier has since experienced his fair share of success in movies, TV shows and even on Broadway. He’s currently seen on TV as Joe, Jerrod Carmichael’s dad on the beloved The Carmichael Show, and played the Cowardly Lion in NBC’s live production of The Wiz last year. However, watching Grier advertise his massa class for aspiring black actors (a segment he filmed for A&E’s Black & White) reminded us of his time on In Living Color. So check out a few of our favorite moments from Grier’s time on the FOX sketch comedy show below.
This politically charged credit card commercial parody, where Grier is just trying to purchase something with his credit card, still feels relevant today.
“The Groom Room”
What’s not to love about watching Grier as a senile, elderly barber?
Fact: Grier’s infomercial host can make any shady service he tries to sell hysterical (whether it be a psychic hotline, exercise equipment, or just ways to make your man jealous). The most ridiculous thing he tried to sell, though? Custom Built Condoms…
There’s simply something funny about watching Grier misinterpret an entitled white woman to an African tribe.
Leave it to Grier’s old bluesman character to fail at making a funeral into a joyous occasion.
“Al Sharpton and Lou Farrakhan Comedy Hour”
This unique take on Abbott and Costello’s classic routine is made even better by Grier’s dead on impersonation of jumpsuit-era Al Sharpton.
“Men On Film”:
While it may not have aged so well, Grier and Wayan’s take on what Siskel & Ebert would look like if hosted by over the top, effeminate gay men, is still one of In Living Color’s most well known recurring sketches. Whether delivering witty one liners about films they hated, or even talking about football, it’s hard not to love Blaine Edwards and Antoine Merriweather.