Dave Chappelle Says He Was Hesitant To Air Infamous R. Kelly Sketch On 'Chappelle's Show'
Dave Chappelle's forthcoming Radio City Music Hall appearance was preceded by a nearly hourlong interview with HOT 97's "Ebro in the Morning" radio show (July 31). The funnyman touched upon topics ranging from his Saturday Night Live arrival to Donald Trump's presidency, and the significance of Radio City, the Big Apple's legendary venue.
"The first time that I did a show that was larger than a comedy club was at Radio City," the 43-year-old remembered. "I was 19, I was opening for Aretha Franklin. Then I didn't come back to Radio City until whatever run we did three years ago. It's a special place."
The conversation later touched upon President Trump, whose "divisive" attitude, Chappelle said, might produce positive results. "The biggest threat to America is America. When it comes down to it, we're either fighting against each other or fighting for each other," he said. "His rhetoric is divisive, but in a world of cause and effect, maybe it's a good thing. For instance, Hillary Clinton didn't unite the women voters, but that Wednesday morning they were united. Maybe it will just save everybody by accident."
Nearing the end of the interview, the morning-show crew reminisced about the night of JAY-Z and R. Kelly's fallout at Madison Square Garden. The pair were touring under the Best of Both Worlds moniker when a reported physical altercation occurred. That reference influenced Chappelle to revisit Chappelle's Show's recognizable skit on Kelly, called "Piss on You." In 2002, a video of Kelly urinating on an underage girl — whom he reportedly had sexual relations with — was the basis for Chappelle's parody.
"Your sketch was the cultural stamp of 'this is what we think of R. Kelly,'" Rosenberg said, which prompted the comedian to reveal he was close to scrapping it entirely. "That was the one sketch... I was going to cut it but then I watched it, and I said 'This is so funny' and this is the crisis — can the audience handle it? So we left it in there." In a 2016 feature, GQ asked Kelly for his thoughts on the skit, to which he pulled a Mariah Carey and claimed he didn't know who Chappelle was. He then stated, "First of all, I have no respect for a comedian when it comes to being serious. If you get that. That's a joke."
While you purchase your tickets for Chappelle's star-studded event, watch the full sit-down above.