Living Single is a staple of ’90s television. Along with In Living Color, Martin and The Sinbad Show, they signaled a black television renaissance that is still revered to this day. While the on-screen antics kept everyone glued to their TV’s while the shows were on, it’s been the behind the scenes drama that has kept everyone talking two decades later. Several of these shows experienced in-fighting, cancellations and firings of key cast members. TC Carson recently opened up about his time on Living Single and how he was let go from the show.
Living Single centered around the four women in its cast. Kim Coles’ Synclaire, Queen Latifah’s Khadijah, Kim Fields’ Regina and Erika Alexander’s Maxine. They frequented Khadijah’s apartment and often felt like the entire cast lived in that one unit. TC Carson and John Henton rounded out the cast as Kyle and Overton respectively. They provided a male perspective as well as played love interest for Maxine and Synclaire.
TC Carson explained how his depiction of Kyle was inspired by several friends of his and his father. He wanted to showcase a black man who was successful in his business and who respected women and held them in a certain regard. He also wanted him to feel very connected to his heritage and his culture.
While the actor was proud of his characterization, he said it was a struggle because the network wanted him and John Henton to be more slap stick and silly like Lenny and Squiggy from the television show Laverne & Shirley. “We basically went to them and said look, we know what you’re trying to do. You can’t put two buffoonish black men against four strong black women.” He continued, “In the beginning we were just following orders. Then we were like hmmmm.” Eventually, TC says he and John found their voices and things began to change.
TC says he has no regrets on speaking his mind and disagreeing with the network and feels that it actually informed the character more. Kyle Barker was a ladies man for sure, something TC says he pulled from his dad and himself. He says his father was always immaculately groomed and always wore a hat, something he incorporated in the way he portrayed Kyle.
Despite TC Carson’s scene stealing one liners and chemistry with Erika Alexander, he reveals that he was fired from the show unexpectedly. He says he had his suspicions, especially since his character was sent to London at the end of the season they were filming. He feels it had to do with how much he spoke up and spoke out about how they were being treated and how their characters were being portrayed.
When TC asked the network if moving his character to London was a way to write him off the show they told him no. However, after watching the season finale he got a call from his lawyer saying they had fired him and he would not be returning. The call came in not even two minutes after the episode aired. “It wasn’t that I got fired, it was the way it was done.” He says they were getting less than all the way around, something that became more obvious when Friends began airing. “They gave them everything, it was a slap in the face.”