Tommy Davidson started his career as a stand-up comedian in Washington DC, earning an ardent following with sheer hard work in various comedy clubs. As one of the cutting-edge, young stand-ups, he was spotted by major concert promoters, who booked him as the opening act for A-list touring acts, including Patti LaBelle, Kenny G and Luther Vandross. It wasn't long before he came to Hollywood and was performing stand-up at a number of clubs, including the Comedy Act Theatre, where he met Robert Townsend. This led to his first national television appearance, with a starring role in Partners in Crime (2005) and was the conduit to Keenen Ivory Wayans, who proved instrumental in Davidson's career by offering him an opportunity to audition and join the uniquely talented cast of the most adventurous prime-time variety show of its day, In Living Color (1990). He, Jamie Foxx, Jim Carrey and Damon Wayans made TV history with their originality.
in this revealing memoir, Tommy Davidson shares his unique perspective on making it in Hollywood, being an integral part of television history, on fame and family, and on living a life that has never been black and white—just funny and true . . .
Abandoned as an infant on the streets of Greenville, Mississippi, and rescued by a loving white family, Tommy Davidson spent most of his childhood unaware that he was different from his brother and sister. All that changed as he came of age in a society of racial barriers—ones that he was soon to help break. On a fledgling network, Tommy joined the cast of In Living Color, alongside other relative newcomers all united by an ingenious throng of Wayans siblings, poised to break new ground.
Now Tommy gives readers the never-before-told behind-the-scenes story of the first show born of the Hip Hop Nation: from its incredible rise, to his own creation of such unforgettable characters as Sweet Tooth Jones and dead-on impressions of Sammy Davis, Jr., Michael Jackson, M.C. Hammer and Sugar Ray Leonard, and appearing in such classic sketches as “Homie The Clown,” the “Hey Mon, family,” and the “Ugly Woman,” through guest-star skirmishes (and black eyes) to backstage tensions and the eventual fall of this pop-culture touchstone. He reveals his own nascent career on the stand-up circuit, as well as reflections on working with Spike Lee, Halle Berry, Chris Rock, and Jada Pinkett Smith. He also shares his very personal story of living with—and being inspired and empowered by—two distinct family histories.
Told with humor and hard-won honesty, Living in Color is a bracing, illuminating, and remarkable success story.