Warm Up: Classic West Indian Comic Relief

January 13, 2011

Words by Jason “J-Rockaz” Orford


Laughter warms the heart–or at the very least distracts from the beating Old Man Winter has been handing out. Which means its a good time to youtube the Emmy-winning 90s variety show, In Living Color. Ah, the 90s. But I’ll bet my bottom dollar that most ILC fans didn’t realize that at the same time in comedic history, folks across the Atlantic, the British were simultaneously ROLF/LMAO/skinning their teeth just as hard in appreciation of their own slapsticking, off the meter prime time comedy show. The BBC’s variety show, the Real McCoy was also a mash up/smash up hit in the UK. Beginning production in 1991, The RMC ran roughly parallel to ILC (which began taping in 1990). The show starred one of my favorites, Felix Dexter–a truly versatile comedian originally from St. Kitts–who anchored the largely West Indian, yet multiracial and equally hilarious cast. The ensemble groups allowed for each comedian to leave an impression.


These variety shows are identical twins separated at birth, following similar formulas but shaped by the different environments each grew out of in Hollywood and London, respectively.


The Real McCoy is another cultural gem you should add to your treasure chest of all things Caribbean. It’s difficult to decide on a favorite between the two but for the sake of this post my funny bone is with the Real McCoy. Check out a few of the skits I personally selected for your laughing pleasure and for those of you who like your comedy on a big flat screen TV, you can purchase the The Real McCoy DVDs online. Just like my new favorite jam, by Eddie Hooper, says “Pass It On.”

Felix Dexter as Lloydy

The Real Mccoy – Irish Moss

Douglas the Roots and Culture’ lawyer

MashUp Lucifer!

Indian Ragga Girls

The Real Mccoy – Supu Supu, You What?