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The characters had both flings and long-term relationships. Coles: I knew that the plan was for these two characters [Synclaire and Overton] to eventually become a couple. I remember there was an article that was written that said we were an Emmy-worthy couple, an Emmy-worthy image. And not just people of color. He and [Carson] were our protectors whenever we went and did things together, so they already acted as our protectors and lovers of women.

It was fun and it was easy. And he brought his whole self to it in a way that was really sweet. It never felt lecherous or weird.

It just felt natural and people loved them. We grew up together and towards each other, so it all worked out. It was well-written. I remember the audience just going crazy when Overton finally got a kiss from Synclaire because we had been waiting for this forever, you know? And the audience just went berserk and it was just like, that was a good kiss too, so we sold that. They were friends who turned into a romance, which I think is always the best thing.

She grew up without a dad, she is from the hood. And the things that she wants different for her life as an adult. And again, I understood that. She lived through her realities, dealt with them, and she still was able to get her fairytale. Carson: There was a love [Kyle] had for all the women on the show, all of his sisters that he really did—I think the fact that Maxine challenged him the most was the thing that he liked.

Honor, of some type. And an honesty to a fault, because they were honest with each other, and yet the passion and the lust was there. Right on. When we were filming that, you could feel the anticipation in the warehouse, in the studio. We felt it. And so, we knew there would be looong laughs, and there were. People just broke out laughing. They had been anticipating [it] the whole time. It was a very well-written episode. But even the whole kente cloth thing—being wrapped in his stupid blanket.

It makes me laugh, because it was so T. O n the Living Single set , T. Carson did have a bit of a reputation for bringing his distinct, Afrocentric flair to everything Kyle Barker did, said, and—most importantly—wore. He was always open to mixing patterns and doing a lot of the Afrocentric fabrics, you know, the mudcloth. He was really down for that. Sometimes I would take the mudcloth and be like, Oooh T.


Queen Latifah, Electus Partner on Female Comedian Travel Series (EXCLUSIVE)

Oh, that would be faaahbulous. It was and remains an impressive feat. Whoopi Goldberg, who was known for being funny and kind of flat. I was in New York. They saw somebody walking by and they said, Y ou wanna shave your hair off? I said, Sure. And she put in these new things she had created, literally just created, called Nu-Locs. And Nu-Locs were interesting because it was made out of yarn.

Queen Latifah, Electus Partner on Female Comedian Travel Series – Variety

My hairstyle was made out of knitting yarn. And the older it got, the more it looked like locs. I kind of just stomped around and made it part of it.

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You clomped across the stage like you had just got off a horse. And she sent me to modeling school, a modeling school called Black Glamour, where I actually won the best walker and went to John Robert Powers modeling school and won their best walker. But just because I could do it on a runway did not mean I could do it in real life, certainly not while acting.

Alexander: Me and Latifah were the hardest to get to wardrobe. We just never really wanted to do it. That or hair and makeup. You put our hair and makeup on and we just went. But it was those coats, capes—it was things that, there was flourish. Anything that could move was great. Obviously the tailored part of it was great because I myself am very casual. But Max was a corporate chick. I spent my whole life in theaters, and just being dressed up.

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So that was work. The character would suddenly come alive. But it was a lot of cool sayings and anything that was cool that was pro-Black, you know, that was what the show was about so I would definitely wear. It was baggies we were in. So now being in an environment where I was a contributor to the craft of creating a character, it was fantastic. Regine was a great character if you loved clothes. And one of the reasons she was so much fun to play is because she was the exact opposite of me.

Ceci: Regine was a fashionista, sassy. She was also sexy, but she was always experimental.

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She was the Vogue of all the girls, she was the fashion plate. And heavily accessorized. She would always have the hat and the gloves and the jewelry. She was always head to toe on point, regardless. They took like a bustier and they covered it, so my chest was able to have coverage and lift, if you will [laughs] , and then the bustier because of the corset part was able to cinch me in, but they covered it in a really fun Hawaiian print kind of thing and then they did cutouts at the stomach area because my stomach was flat enough where I could do that and not feel self-conscious.

I just felt like they really worked at making sure that, again, I was comfortable, I was confident. When she wore a suit, it was always balanced [because] when she got home sometimes, she would just wear a jersey and some jeans.

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She had a life, and when she got home, she was chill like we all are. That was a lot of fun! And the color! And so I got a chance to be involved in all of that. Out of all of us, I would say T.

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Carson: The whole process of it was very organic and collaborative. And there was also a wonderful artist, her name is Aklia, and she made a lot of jewelry for the show. Most of the African pieces you saw were from her collection. So it really helped to push the boundaries of the walls of his character. If he was like, Nah, nah just give me some jeans and a T-shirt , it would not have been as interesting.

So I really do value that in real life, he definitely has an eye for fashion. And he would carefully take out ties and shirts and he would show me, Now, this is elegant. And this elegant because this, this, and this. Now this one, this looks too sloppy. This is not a good tie. And so I learned from [when I was] a young child how to pick out ties, and shirts, and suits. So when I got a chance to put all that into Kyle Barker, oh my god, it was a complete joy.

And I would spend so much time, like really a lot of time, picking out the right pocket square, the right shirt, the right suit, the right pinstripe, the right shoes, right everything.

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I was very proud of his suit looks, his whole everything, all his looks suited the mood. I wish more men dressed like that these days! W ardrobe, hair included , was just one way Living Single communicated the core values of its characters.

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  • The show also explored a number of relevant issues of the time, with an approach that was far less didactic than shows like A Different World. Now we have terms for all of those things. We made our point with a lot of laughs.