Hundrerds of aspiring and working comedians, improvisors and actors lined up outside of the soon-to-be-opened Laugh Factory Chicago on Dec. 20 to audition for the revamped In Living Color— a two-episode special run that Fox will premiere this spring. The smallscreen hopefuls traveled from all over the country to be seen by Jamie Masada, owner of the Hollywood, Long Beach, and Chicago Laugh Factories, who helped get Jamie Foxx and Jim Carrey cast in the original In Living Color, which ran from 1990 to 1994. The first person in line to audition for Masada was Louis Hale from the South side of Chicago. Louis told me he got to the venue at 5 am to be first in line. “I thought I would be late because In Living Color is huge,” he said.
Everyone auditioning was told to provide a two-minute audition showcasing impressions, stand-up or original characters. Masada took notes on every participant and also video taped them; some of those tapes will be sent to Keenan Ivory Wayans (the creator of the original show) who is involved with casting the revamped version. When asked what he and In Living Color were looking for he replied, “We’re looking for original characters, young and edgy people,” adding that what made Keenan “one of the best” is that he was edgy. “He knows what’s edgy. Everything [on the original show] was ahead of its time.”
Masada went on to say, “I think Chicago is a Mecca for talent. The city is so full of talent. Unfortunately, they can’t all come to Hollywood to audition, so we wanted to give them this opportunity.” Masada also wants to have monthly auditions for comics who want to work at the Chicago club similar to the ones in Hollywood.
I was able to sit through every performance on Tuesday and witnessed many great auditions with original stand-up, characters and impressions. I noticed that about the first 10-20 people, the people who took the time to wake up very early, came incredibly well prepared to showcase. The auditions went from 11 am to 3 pm. Because of the overwhelming turn out, the Chicago Laugh Factory will be again hosting auditions, only for those who have not yet had the chance to audition, next Tuesday, Dec. 27 from 11 am to 3 pm again– first come first serve.