Comedian Kim Wayans revived one of her most beloved In Living Color characters for a new video to encourage the public to vote in the General Election next month.
The actor/author revived “Miss Benita,” a sketch depicting a gossipy tenant, Benita Butrell, of a housing project who humorously comments on her neighbors’ dirty laundry.
In the video, which was directed by brother and In Living Color castmate Shawn Wayans, Miss Benita is seen sitting outside her building with a mask on and rollers in her hair, posting a small American flag on her desk. Wayans wasted no time speaking on the gentrification that’s affected so many Black families living in such neighborhoods.
“It’s me, Benita Burtrell from the Hopkins Projects, at least what’s left of them. It’s a damn shame how this neighborhood has changed,” Miss Benita said. “We got less Black folks than an episode of Friends,” she joked with an audience laugh track underneath.
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Miss Benita quickly let everyone know what she was doing outside: trying to get folks in the neighborhood to vote due to the condition of the nation this election cycle.
“Well, with the democracy collapsing faster than a woody on fake Viagra, Miss Benita decided to get out her to try to get out the vote, because I see where this is headed,” she said.
Wayans through her character quipped about the fate of Black Americans if they don’t vote, and how life may revert back to a time when Black people faced more oppressive barriers. “And I don’t know about you, but I’m allergic to cotton.” https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
Miss Benita also commented on how the coronavirus pandemic had caused a food and supply shortage, and how she’d been preparing.
“I’ve been making my own astronaut food,” she joked. “I got enough freeze dried fatback and pickled black licorice to last a lifetime.”
For over three minutes, Miss Benita continued to stress the importance of voting, while doing her familiar schtick of greeting her neighbors with compliments and a smile, only to say mean things about them once they walk away. She ended each funny comment with her catchphrase, “but I ain’t one to gossip, so you ain’t heard that from me.” https://2b8fe4fbc2c8f0137c410f5a307dc430.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
The sketch was first posted on Instagram by brother, actor/comic Marlon Wayans, another In Living Color alumni. The Fox sketch comedy show celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. Kim was a cast member from 1990 to 1993, and debuted the recurring character of Miss Benita in the first season.