If you can believe it, it's been a decade since Chappelle's Show went off the air, a Comedy Central staple that eventually forced its titular hero into television hiatus. But no more: On Friday, it was announced that Dave Chappelle will be hosting Saturday Night Live on Nov. 12. And now, I'm just upset that his Purple Majesty had to go and die on us earlier this year, because the Chappelle's Show sketch with Chapelle as a basketball-playing Prince is really the height of his comedic prowess — and totally could use a revival.
Now, I know that when it comes to "Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories," Rick James is the first celeb on everyone's mind, coining the over-stated "I'm Rick James, b*tch!" catchphrase. Right, right, right, it's still funny, it still holds up. However, I don't necessarily like the legacy that sketch left: The line would often be pelted back at Chappelle during his stand-up sets, with one Sacramento gig leading the comedian to lament, "The show is ruining my life." The Rick James "True Hollywood Story" overpowered Chappelle's Show and helped put it to bed. Prince's "True Hollywood Story," however, only developed in many weird and wonderful ways.
The premise itself is pretty incredible. In summary, Prince invites Eddie and Charlie Murphy and their crew to hang out, eventually deciding to play basketball. Prince and The Revolution come out decked out in their weird, mid-'80s pirate clothes, and the Murphys' posse laughs at them, declaring they should be shirts versus blouses.
But why is it so great? A lot of it has to do with the hyperreal way that Chappelle captured Prince's uniqueness. Chappelle's Prince speaks an octave or two deeper than the actual Purple One, which definitely amps up the intimidating presence. "Why don't you purify yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka?" is the Minneapolis-bred musician hilarious smack-talk. And after Prince has a landslide victory on the Murphy boys, he prepares the losers pancakes and grapes. "Well, I gotta admit, it was a good game," says Charlie. "I wish I could say the same for you," Chappelle-as-Prince deadpans, as his flips a flapjack his way.
Also the unexplained air-humping is a nice, slightly disorienting touch. The clincher, of course, is that Prince confirmed that this was a true story and even used the image of Chappelle with pancakes for his 2013 single, Breakfast Can Wait. So it remains an iconic skit with a happily ever after ... I mean, maybe not for Murphy, but for everyone else.
And if you need to get a taste of just how hilarious Chappelle is (and/or mourn the death of a perfectly bizarre musical legend), revisit the classic skit on Comedy Central's site here. Game, Blouses.
Images: Comedy Central; Giphy (2)