T.C. Carson Claims If Women Didn’t Accept What They Get From Men & Say No, Men Would Step Up
TC Carson is better known to the world as Kyle Barker. He played the iconic character for several seasons in the ’90s on the classic cult sitcom Living Single. The veteran actor and musician has opened up over the years about the character and his inspiration for Kyle, who was known for being a chivalrous lady’s man. According to Carson, he is unsure if a man like Kyle can exist in the modern world because of how little women expect from men these days.
Kyle Barker was one of the two male leads on Living Single. The show, which is believed by many to have inspired NBC’s Friends, followed six single adults living in New York City. Kyle was Overton’s roommate and served as female lead Maxine Shaw’s (Erika Alexander) sparring partner turned eventual love interest. Throughout his time on the show, Kyle Barker became synonymous with his dapper appearance and way with words. Barker came across well educated and well-traveled, always dressed to the nines and always ready with a quip.
According to Carson, he based Kyle on his father. “Kyle was based on a few friends of mine and my dad,” he told Comedy X Hype last year. “A doctor friend of mine, a lawyer friend of mine, a social worker friend of mine and my father.” Carson says he wanted Barker to come across as studious and astute because he felt it was important for this type of black man to be seen on television. He wanted Barker to be “successful in his business,” “be connected to his heritage and culture,” and “to treat women a certain way.”
When talking about his father’s influence, Carson says that his dad was always suave and put together. “He never left the house without a hat on. That’s why Kyle always has a hat on. He was always immaculately groomed. He always looked good. He always smelled good. So yeah, a lot of that was him” For Carson, this became a fight as production started pushing for him and John Henton’s Overtone to play more slapstick jokes or “buffoonery,” as he called it. Carson understood that it was important for these two black men to have some grit, especially when playing across four strong black women.
Carson said production eventually came around and allowed the characters to have a little more depth, but ultimately all his pushing left a rift between him and the show as he was eventually fired. TC feels his firing has a lot to do with him speaking his mind on what they were asked to do. “A lot of that shaped who Kyle was” he says on the characters portrayal before he was written off. Speaking on the type of person Kyle Barker was, TC said he fought hard for the character to be flirtatious and sensual without being disrespectful. The balance was important and one Carson feels has been lost amongst men.
When asked flat out if he feels Barker could exist today, TC feels like it’s on women to demand what they deserve and stop accepting whatever men give them. He thinks if women demand quality and respect, that men like Kyle Barker can thrive, but right now it is simply not the case.