Damon Wayans says there is no way to downplay the cultural influence of the popular 90s sketch show “In Living Color.” Wayans recently lamented that even an event as large as the Super Bowl managed to be impacted by the ensemble cast of comedians.
“Before ‘In Living Color,’ it was marching bands. It was like the worst— there wasn’t even entertainment,” said Wayans while in conversation with the co-hosts of “Ebro in the Morning” radio show. In 1992, “In Living Color” aired at the same time as the Super Bowl halftime show during the showdown between the Buffalo Bills and the Washington Redskins. According to Nielsen ratings, the half-hour comedy show pulled in more than 20 million viewers.
The following year, the NFL booked pop megastar Michael Jackson as the halftime performer, setting a new precedent for the shows that followed. “We started the Super Bowl halftime show. We set it off,” said Wayans. Performing during the halftime show has become the pinnacle of success for countless artists. Since 1993, some of music’s biggest stars such as Janet Jackson, Beyoncé, Madonna, U2 and others have performed before more than 100 million halftime viewers.
Earlier this year, West Coast music took center stage during the Super Bowl LVI halftime show. Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem and special guests Mary J. Blige and 50 Cent performed some of their iconic hits during the 14-minute set. This week (July 12), it was announced that the star-studded show earned five Emmy nominations. The awards show airs on Sept. 12.
50 Cent marked the news on social media. In a post on Instagram, he wrote, “Yeah they can give me my 🏆 trophy now! If they give the oscar’s anything they are promoting violence because all i remember is will slapping chris. 😆LOL.”
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