PERFORMING ARTS

Living in Color: What’s Funny About Me

Kensington. Jan. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9781496712943. $27. TV
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Comedy is craft and Davidson is craftsman in this engrossing memoir, cowritten with journalist Teicholz. Davidson chronicles his neglect and abandonment as a toddler; his adoption by a loving family; his hard-won successes performing stand-up in New York, California, and Washington, DC; and, finally, his role on In Living Color (1990–95), Keenen Ivory Wayans’s pioneering sketch show, one of the first to feature a predominantly black cast. Fans will relish insider descriptions of the program’s early seasons and of Davidson’s interactions with future stars such as Jim Carrey, David Alan Grier, and Wayans’s brothers Damon, Shawn, and Marlon. Davidson balances praise and criticisms of the show’s defining personalities—including himself. Indeed, his keen observations bring the book to life, candidly describing his triumphs and setbacks and emphasizing the dedication that underlies seemingly effortless comedy.
VERDICT This heartfelt memoir of an expansive career will resonate with fans of In Living Color, stand-up, sketch shows, and entertainment biographies.
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