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Obscure Black C-Listers: T.K. Carter

18 December 2008 11 Comments


What really happened to T.K. Carter? The Missing Person police are satisfied as long as IMDB.com lists a few recent credits for an actor, but Thembi is not. He broke into the industry at the age of twelve with a stand up comedy routine featuring an impressive Bill Cosby impression. If you really have an eagle eye for these things you’ll remember that he played J.J.’s friend Head on Good Times in one of his first television roles (you know, part of the “Awesome Foursome”). T.K. Carter was a serious mainstay on 80’s sitcoms! He starred in John Carpenter’s The Thing, the short-lived sitcom Just Our Luck where he played a jive-talking genie, and had supporting roles on Punky Brewster and Good Morning Miss Bliss (the precursor to Saved By The Bell). As if things couldn’t get any more eighties, he even voiced a character on the cartoon Jem and was in 1989’s Polly, a WWTD favorite. The nineties brought Carter bit parts here and there on The Steve Harvey Show, The Sinbad Show, and The Gregory Hines Show – do you see a pattern there? Carter really shone in 2000’s critically acclaimed The Corner, earning both Black Reel and NAACP award nominations. Since then he’s had bit parts here and there (Everybody Hates Chris, Domino) but nothing major. Maybe he’s doing stand up or theater that I can’t find any information on, or maybe he’s going through some personal issues; his 1991 DUI and arrest for car theft are a red flag, but I won’t speculate. Maybe he just doesn’t feel like acting anymore, but I’d love to see T.K. Carter back in the mix!


  • MsLindiwe said:

    I was JUST talking about the episode of “A Different World” where he plays Mr. Gaines (Lou Myers) triflin’ azz son Darnell. Mr. Gaines goes on vacay and lets Darnell run the Pit, but in the end Darnell is a power hungry jerk, gets in fights with Charmaine and Lena (Karen Malina White and Jada P-S), serves nasty food, and otherwise runs the Pit into the ground.

  • Kellybelle said:

    I saw your post title and said, “TK Carter ain’t obscure! He played Kyle on Living Single!” thereby proving he is, in fact, obscure, LOL.

    That’s a blast from the past.

  • Thembi said:

    Careful Kellybelle, you’re thinking about T.C. Carson. He played Kyle Barker on Living Single.

  • Monica said:

    “united we stand…divided we fall…we’re tighter than panty hose two sizes small…” i wonder why he never played reggie’s jive talking uncle or older brother on small wonder in a very special spinoff episode haha

  • jazzfan360 said:

    GET OUT!!! I was thinking about Polly just two days ago and found myself specifically wondering what the hell happened to T.K. Carter. I sure do miss his big jive-ass grin haha. He was so great in the Polly movies.

  • Reginald Dorsey said:

    Isn’t he also at the end of Herb Alpert’s “Diamond’s Are a Girls’ Best Friend” video, as well? The one with the 7-year old Janet Jackson impersonator.

  • The True Urban Queen aka Sharon said:

    I must admit I kind of liked him. . .a little.

    Okay stop laughing.

  • blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said:

    I don’t even remember this dude…

    Jimmy Walker realized a bit too late that looks matter to the t.v. bosses who give variety shows to black comics…
    Black comics who are minstrelsy tend to have less longevity…ok…Tyler being the exception…

  • Invisible Woman said:

    No you didn’t bring TK out of the archives!! LMAO!

    Last time I saw him, it was in LA, and he was screaming at the cashier at the top of his lungs in the Korean beauty store how he had to buy a curling iron and some beauty supplies cause “his baby did hair”. All while in a zoot suit no less…

  • Invisible Woman said:

    PS: also lamo at Monica; “united we stand…divided we fall…we’re tighter than panty hose two sizes small…”

    I forgot about that…good times. (pun intended)

  • Kim said:

    I LOVED him on Saved by the Bell.

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