In 2003, Chappelle performed that skit on his TV comedy series and sang satirical lyrics like, “Said your body, your body is a port-o-potty.” In other skits, he remixed R. Kelly’s songs “Ignition” and “Feelin’ On Yo Booty” to create parodies in which Kelly both urinated and defecated on young women.
None of this went over well with the R&B singer, according to Chappelle. Speaking to a crowded room during a standup set in West Hollywood on Wednesday night, the comedian said that once when he was in Chicago, a bunch of R. Kelly’s “goons bust in my room.” In the video of his remarks, posted by TMZ, Chappelle added, “I don’t know if it was his goons, but they sure did like him.”
Chappelle also claimed that R. Kelly asked him, “How you gonna do a video of me peeing on a bitch like that?” and Chappelle responded in kind, “How YOU gonna do a video of you peeing on a bitch like that?”
The comedian’s comments follow a similar story told by “Chappelle’s Show” co-creator Neal Brennan on the radio show “The Breakfast Club” on Tuesday.
“R. Kelly wanted to fight Dave,” said Brennan. “He literally stepped ― his goons stepped to Dave in Chicago ― and Dave’s goons intervened, and the goons negotiated.”
Brennan also addressed recent backlash against Chappelle’s famous sketch. To critics, the skit, which was mentioned in the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” looks less funny and more complicit in a toxic culture than it once did.
“I don’t think people understand what comedy is supposed to do ― we will observe things, we’ll make fun of things. ... Did people want us to round up a posse and go arrest R. Kelly? Like, what were we supposed to do?” Brennan said.
He also insisted that the skit did not help to normalize Kelly’s behavior.
“The idea that we somehow normalized this ― like we also did a white supremacist sketch, I don’t think we normalized white supremacy. Our job is to poke fun at things. And even if it’s bleak, we still poke fun at it. We were trying to humiliate a guy who was known for peeing,” Brennan said.
Over at The Root, Tonja Renée Stidhum explained why that’s not good enough for some people anymore:
I think the issue here, though, is not so much the inability to grasp the concept of comedy, but the fact “punching up” is generally more respected than “punching down.” The intent may have been to do the former, but it was essentially at the expense of teenaged girls at a time when no one was taking their alleged abuse seriously. So, yeah, it may be a little more difficult to take “just jokes” when we now know just how long it took (and is taking) for these alleged young victims and survivors to finally get the justice they need and deserve.
Kelly has been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women as well as child pornography and starting a sex cult. The singer denies all of the allegations.