When the superdeluxe reissue of Prince‘s Sign o’ the Times drops on Friday, the liner notes will include an interview with Dave Chappelle where the comedian reflects not just on his love of Prince, but also the friendship he formed with the late musician.
As Prince fans know, he absolutely loved the classic Chappelle’s Show sketch where Chappelle played the “Purple Rain” singer in a hilarious retelling of the time he beat Eddie Murphy and his brother Charlie in a game of basketball and then cooked them pancakes. Not only did Prince confirm the story was true, but it led to him meeting up with Chappelle and the two becoming friends. But what no one knew is how much Prince helped the comedian when he made the shocking decision to walk away from his hugely successful series.
In the liner notes for Sign o’ the Times, Chappelle reveals Prince is the only person who supported him quitting Chappelle’s Show without hesitating. “He was one of the few people who truly cared about what was happening in my life.” Via Vulture:
He was the only one I knew who had already done it. In the loneliest corners of that experience, there was always a sign, like “Brooks was here,” that he had been there and lived to tell about it.
The mere sight of Prince reminded me that I’m not the last sane man on earth, and I’m not crazy.
He was the first person I knew who didn’t question my choices. In fact, he didn’t even ask me about them. He just told me, “Whatever it is, you’re right.”
Chappelle said, “He helped me understand that it might not be over and that there might be another side to it,” which turned out to be especially prescient. The comedian has had a resurgence since signing a multi-million dollar deal with Netflix, and he recently scored an Emmy win, which gave him the opportunity to deliver a very Chappelle-like message to critics during his acceptance speech.