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The Rise and Fall of Chappelle’s Show


I don’t really know who reads this blog, aside from some good friends. I really hope the average reader of this blog has interests outside of fashion and is not all consumed by, to put it lightly, sh*t you wear. Hell, I’m glad that people not into fashion read this blog. Ideally, I would want our regular readers well versed in Chappelle Show. Not that we demand much of our readers, but Chappelle Show was a cultural phenomenon. Chappelle rewrote the way we saw comedy as he teetered the thin line between what was clever commentary on race and being racially insensitive. Although he never fell on the side of being insensitive, he consciously pulled out before his situation might have compromised him. That’s why the average reader should know who he is, what he did, and be familiar with the whole Chappelle Show catalog. He entered fame like a shooting star but his time in the spotlight burnt out just as quick. Luckily, we get to relive our favorite moments as the Chappelle Show crew, unfortunately without Dave Chappelle, talks to King Magazine about what was going behind the scenes. Here are a couple of snippets that I took from King Mag’s “The Rise and Fall of Chappelle’s Show”

Donnell Rawlings (comedian, actor; Ashy Larry): Ten minutes before we go shoot “Player Haters’ Ball,” my character didn’t have a name or anything. I went to hair and makeup, told them to give me a Jheri-curl wig. Then I went to props, and I asked for a Moët bottle with an activator on it so I can just squirt my hair down. They didn’t have that, so they gave me the aerosol can. I’m spraying it, people laughing and shit, three minutes before shooting. I didn’t have a name, dialogue or anything. Neal told me to make my name up. I walked past the mirror like twice, looked in it, and said, “Man, I feel beautiful!” That’s when “Beautiful” was born.

Murphy: I knew it was something [special] when we took it over to my baby brother [Eddie Murphy’s] house. I was like, “Check out this Rick James sketch.” And we watched it and he was silent throughout the whole sketch, so I thought it was horrible. Soon as it stopped playing, he just said one word: “Genius.” And then busted out laughing like, “Play that shit again!”

Murphy: It was real fucking hard to keep a straight face looking at Dave wearing that Prince outfit [Laughs]. He had motherfuckers screaming. Every time they said, “Cut” everybody just busted out laughing. Later on, the word came back that Prince said to Dave, “It wasn’t that I was a great basketball player, it was that Charlie was horrible.”

Brady: I curse. I’m not squeaky clean. [But] I didn’t like the term, “Slap a ho.” I’ve got a daughter; there’s something about [that] that’s too real. So we came up with the whole line “Is Wayne Brady gonna have to choke a bitch?”

Lil Jon: We were in Miami for the MTV Video Music Awards, in 2004. I’m driving down the street, and somebody is outside screaming, “Yeeaah!” I look over, and it’s Dave’s ass. So I jumped out of the car. Just imagine—the average person don’t see Dave Chappelle and Lil Jon walking down the street. That’s when I think Dave really saw how much people say the shit to me. People were just bugging the fuck out. The next day, on the awards, Dave said, “Jon, I’m sorry I did it to you.”

Murphy: I was doing an interview in a restaurant [in 2004]. My table was near the window and school was letting out. These kids were maybe 8, 10 years old. They stopped in front of the window and started screaming out, “Charlie M-u-r-p-h-y! I’m Rick James bitch!!!” That was deep.


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