I was a fan of “In Living Color” during its early years. But it’s fair to say that the show’s strength was its cast, not its writing.
(By contrast, “Saturday Night Live” and “SCTV” had writers to match their players, while “Fridays” was burdened with a second-rate cast plus weak writing.)
One of my favorite “In Living Color” sketches didn’t even come from the writing staff. “Black World” was written and performed by cast member T’Keyah “Crystal” Keymah.
I interviewed Crystal in 1991, and she acknowledged that “Black World” owes a debt to Gilda Radner, who did a similar little-girl sketch on “SNL.”
“I think Gilda Radner’s pieces are classics,” she told me.
“Black World,” on top of being an acting showcase, is a fine piece of character writing and social satire. It was one of Crystal’s audition pieces for “In Living Color.” And it’s the one that got her hired.
To hear “Black World” on my Vox audio stash, click here. It was originally broadcast on May 12, 1990.