With the overwhelming sadness of the recent death of music legend Prince, many people have apparently focused more on paying tribute to his life via social media.
Over the years, there have been quite a few comedians – including Dave Chappelle, Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx and Saturday Night Live alum Finesse Mitchell – that essentially paid tribute to Prince with memorable performances of their own.
When most people think of comedic impersonations of Prince, chances are they think of Dave Chappelle. On February 18, 2004, the fifth episode of the second season of Chappelle’s Show aired on Comedy Central.
One of the highlights of that particular episode – and the sketch series overall – was titled “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories.” The segment itself was already a big hit with Dave Chappelle’s fans thanks to the Rick James episode which premiered just prior to this episode.
Dave Chappelle’s “Prince” skit may be the funniest skit ever done: https://t.co/nygeZaePz3
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) April 21, 2016
— Megan McCullum⚓️ (@Megan0903) April 21, 2016
However, this particular segment was focused on none other than Prince himself – featuring Dave Chappelle in an impeccably perfect impersonation of the rock and roll legend. From the wardrobe and make-up to his voice and memorable catchphrases, Dave Chappelle’s portrayal of Prince in that sketch still gets an abundance of laughs today, more than a decade after it first aired.
Prince himself must have loved the sketch as well, because he showed his appreciation for it with his 2013 single, “Breakfast Can Wait.” The cover art for that particular single featured Dave Chappelle in his hilarious wardrobe holding a plate of pancakes.
That time Prince made a photo of Dave Chappelle playing Prince his cover for the single “Breakfast Can Wait.” pic.twitter.com/Tz4ibEr9oO
— Ryan Parker (@TheRyanParker) April 21, 2016
Dave Chappelle was definitely not the only comedian that delivered memorable performances on stage to pay tribute to Prince. Jamie Foxx, the multi-talented singer and actor, impersonated Prince on a number of occasions throughout his career. Jamie impersonated Prince during the In Living Color stage of his career – long before he became a star in Hollywood.
However, he was also able to add his own singing talents to the mix as well – boosting the quality of his Prince portrayal much higher than many other comedians who didn’t necessarily have the singing chops to match.
For instance, Jamie showed off his singing skills during a piano session after his “I Need Security” comedy show during a tour stop in Oakland years ago. While he was performing his own remix of “The Brady Bunch” theme song, he was able to mix in impressions of popular performers – including Babyface, as well as the late Luther Vandross, and the recently deceased Prince.
In addition to impersonating Prince, Jamie Foxx praised the longtime legend in a number of different interviews over the years as well. For instance, Foxx opened up about his own experience at one of Prince’s concerts when he brought his daughter along during a December 2010 interview with David Letterman.
“I’ve seen Prince a lotta times and sometimes he’ll go into himself and start singing about scriptures and stuff like that… But this time, he came out and went straight into [‘Let’s Go Crazy’]. I was like a little schoolgirl, singing all the songs — to see a grown man singing ‘Raspberry Beret’ at the top of his lungs?”
Therefore, even without his witty comic timing and punchlines, Jamie Foxx made it clear that he was undoubtedly a big fan.
Saturday Night Live alum Finesse Mitchell also claimed to be a huge Prince fan in a memorable joke that he used on-stage as well. The joke primarily focuses on Mitchell’s anticipation waiting for Prince to arrive on-stage while waiting for him in a concert audience. However, he still showed off an impressive rendition of Prince’s iconic walk and big-eyed gaze.
Moments after reports of the death of music legend Prince were confirmed, a vast number of tributes and heartwarming messages flooded social media.
Celebrities and musicians that knew him personally and professionally – such as Morris Day and Sheila E. – joined the masses of tributes shared and posted by fans, musicians, critics and everyone else that was inspired by Prince’s talent and artistic work over the years. Through the laughter of hilarious impersonations – such as from David Chappelle and Jamie Foxx – and the tears of heartwarming tributes, Prince will continue to shine in the spotlight of so many hearts around the world for many years to come.
[Image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]