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Poster: Mr. Television
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Where I Live aired from March until November 1993 on ABC.
Easygoing, low-key sitcom about 3 black teenage buddies, who hung out
on a Harlem stoop ("the center of the Universe"), jived about sports
and girls, and generally tried to figure out what life was all about.
Doug ( Doug E. Doug) was the carefree center of things, a hip kid in
dreadlocks who was not as sure of himself as he looked; Reggie ( Flex
Alexander) the self-styled ladies man; and Malcolm ( Shaun Baker) the
impulsive opportunistic one . Just when their plans got bigger than
their hip, oversized threads, in would roll the clouds of reality in
the form of stern father James ( Sullivan Walker) and sensible mom
Marie ( lorraine Toussaint). Meanwhile bookish little sis Sharon (
Yunoka Doyle) kept busy fighting off the advances of pint-sized
Lothario Kwanzie (Jason Bose Smith).
Where I Live drew praise for its realistic characters and absence of
the usual sitcom stereotypes. Despite disappointing ratings during the
spring of 1993, fans (including Bill Cosby ) persuaded ABC to give it a
second chance in the fall. By then good student Reggie had been
accepted to a college and Doug, though no wiz at school, succumbed to
family pressures and enrolled in a junior college. Only Malcolm stayed
behind, dropping out of school and working as a stock clerk. Buried
in a little -viewed Saturday night time period (after a turkey called
George), the series expired after just 3 more episodes.
An Article from The LA Times
Profile : Hangin' With Doug E. : VIEWING LIFE IN HARLEM ON A NEW KIND OF ABC SITCOM
February 28, 1993|DANIEL CERONE | TIMES STAFF WRITER
There was an old lady who lived in Bed-Stuy,
She bumped in a wall because she was high,
She jumped out the window 'cause
she thought she could fly,
I looked out my window,
I saw her go by.
That's an example of life in the drug-infested borough of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, as described in a collection of nursery rhymes written by Doug E. Doug.
Doug, 24, has made a habit of expressing his real-life experiences through different artistic forums. When he was in high school, Doug agreed to play Scrooge in a school production of "A Christmas Carol" at the request of his principal. Only Doug filtered Charles Dickens' classic tale through his own urban framework and transformed the 19th-Century classic into a 20th-Century "homeboy" tale.
Instead of saying "Bah, humbug," Doug's Scrooge would just say, "Ah, get the hell out of here."
Now, Doug's stark background has found its way into a network comedy series. In the new ABC sitcom "Where I Live," which loosely reflects his own life, Doug plays a Harlem teen-ager who hangs with his friends on the stoop outside the apartment house where he lives with his middle-class family.
"I always wanted to be a comedic actor," says Doug, who took to the road as a stand-up comic at 17, performing as an opening act for Miles Davis and Kool and the Gang.
"So when the show's producers approached me about creating a sitcom based on my family life, I was thrilled. I was a pretty crazy teen-ager. In high school I used to tell jokes to friends in the hallway like, 'My family was so poor, my family was so poor, my family was so poor they'd go to Kentucky Fried Chicken and lick other people's fingers.' "
Doug has performed at such New York City comedy hot spots as Sweetwaters, Uptown Comedy Club and the Comic Strip. He received his break from "Malcolm X" director Spike Lee, who saw Doug's routine at the Apollo Theatre and gave him a bit part in his 1990 film "Mo' Better Blues."
Doug went on to earn a best-actor nomination from the Independent Spirit Awards for his role in "Hangin' With the Homeboys," and he starred in Kid 'N' Play's film "Class Act" last year.
Executive producer Michael Jacobs first caught Doug's stream-of-conscious comedy when he was hosting a New Year's Eve special in 1991. "He struck me as quite original and different," recalled Jacobs, who created the ABC sitcom "Dinosaurs" for Walt Disney Television.
"I thought it would be very interesting if we did sort of a black 'Our Town,' " Jacobs said. "Only instead of Hal Holbrook taking us through Grover's Corners as a stage-manager character in a vest and a pipe, I thought it might be interesting to contemporize it, and have Doug basically take us through Harlem."
Because he was raised in a more privileged environment, Jacobs teamed up with Ehrich van Lowe to create and executive produce "Where I Live." Van Lowe, an African-American who grew up in the Bronx, wrote for "The Cosby Show" and is currently overseeing Fox's sitcom "Roc."
"I said, 'Look, I do not want to be the white producer of a black show that is set in Harlem,' " Jacobs says. "Even though the idea that I had is creatively very satisfying, my experience certainly does not reflect the reality of the situation. Fortunately, Ehrich and I shared a similar vision for the show."
For "Where I Live," Disney built a replica of an entire brownstone city block inside Stage 3 on the Disney lot. Half the series takes place on the outside stoop; the other half inside the apartment with Doug's family.
Even though it was set to go, ABC was reluctant to premiere "Where I Live" with all the other new prime-time series last fall because of its unusual look and realistic take, Jacobs says. And as in "Our Town," Doug turns to the camera occasionally to give the audience his direct thoughts--a technique that rarely goes over well on series television.
Doug, now in Calgary with John Candy shooting the feature film "Cool Runnings," about the Jamaican bobsled team in the 1988 Olympics, doesn't appear to be worried about whether his show will find an audience. "I think that people from all cultures will appreciate the humor on our show and, hopefully, the underlying messages too," he says.
"Where I Live" premieres Friday at 9:30 p.m. on ABC.
IN DOUG'S WORDS
Other poems in Doug E. Doug's collection:
yo dead, bird get up and fly.
Sex is a big headache to me. You gotta always worry
about wearin' a condom...
in fact, I'm wearin' one now.
There's a lot of nasty people out here who will give you
a disease and won't care.
I used to mess with this girl, she gave me herpes.
I used to mess with this girl who worked at a pet store...
She gave me 'chirpes.'
I used to mess with this girl who worked at 7-Eleven...
She gave me 'Slurpees.'
I used to mess with this girl who gave me VD...
I used to mess with this girl who was a rap fan...
She gave me E.P.
I used to work with this girl who had a Saturday Night Fever
She gave me the 'BeeGees.'
A Review from Variety
March 4, 1993 11:00PM PT
Where I Live Occupant
By Tony Scott
ABC hits paydirt with “Where I Live,” sassy new sitcom with 13 episodes ordered and the future unlimited. Blessed with genuine characters, paced by Doug E. Doug’s playing 17-year-old Douglas St. Martin, and backed by a witty, human script by creators Michael Jacobs and Ehrich Van Lowe, first episode gives hope to sitcomland.
Douglas, whose Harlem stoop is the “center of the universe,” lives with his stern-but-warm dad James (Sullivan Walker), his sensible mom Marie (Lorraine Toussaint), and his 14-year-old sister Sharon (Yunoka Doyle), who’s more studious by volumes than Dougl
First episode revolves around his lifetime buddy Reggie (Flex) pulling down a college scholarship and not telling him; on this slim premise, the opening stanza blooms with humor and understanding.
Family matters reflect naturalism, and Doug’s Douglas, who occasionally takes the camera’s eye into his confidence, struggles to understand life and to communicate what he understands as best he can. It’s the core of the sitcom.
Doug E. Doug is terrif, as is Walker. Toussaint is splendid, and Doyle’s sister act is solid. Tech credits are surefire, and production designer John Mula displays imagination.
Where I Live Occupant
(Fri.(5), 9:30-10 p.m., ABC-TV)
Production: Taped at the Walt Disney Studios by Michael Jacobs Prods. in association with Touchstone TV. Exec producer, Michael Jacobs; co-exec producers, Ehrich Van Lowe , Dawn Tarnofsky; producer, Mark Brull; co-producers, Doug E. Doug, Kevin Brown; director, Arlene Sanford; writers-creators, Jacobs, Van Lowe.
Crew: Music,Ray Colcord; production designer, John C. Mula.
Cast: Cast: Doug E. Doug, Flex, Shaun Baker, Lorraine Toussaint, Yunoka Doyle, Jason Bose Smith, Sullivan Walker, Tammy Townsend.
To watch an episode of Where I Live go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zJvxwqPmCs
For more on Where I Live go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where_I_Live
To watch the opening credits go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lPv6MXRfGc
� Date: Fri April 22, 2016 � Filesize: 41.1kb, 243.7kb � Dimensions: 1165 x 1600 �
Keywords: Where I Live Cast