Nearing 20 years since it originally aired, Wayne Brady has yet to shake off a joke the late Paul Mooney made about him in a Chappelle’s Show sketch.
In a new interview with The Breakfast Club, the celebrated improv comic and venerable game show host opened up about being the subject of a jab from Mooney (“White people love Wayne Brady because he makes Bryant Gumbel look like Malcolm X,”) and why he’s still offended by it. “It’s not a funny joke,” Brady told the Breakfast Club hosts (sans Charlamagne,) after describing how he was entirely blindsided by it while watching Mooney’s “Negrodaumus” take the screen with his barber one night. “Folks laughed at it, which comedy is always predicated on the fact that I’m going to make a joke in this room with the five of us right now, hoping that at least three of you will connect with the universality of what it is,” Brady adds. The Whose Line Is It Anyway? star goes on to note that he held on to that energy when he crossed paths with Mooney some years later. “When I got to talk to Paul years later, I stand by the fact that that joke was wack,” the comedian notes.
But it wasn’t all hurt feelings. The comedian goes on to recall how a chance (and admittedly drunken,) encounter with Chappelle’s Show regular Donnell Rawlings opened the door to Brady himself being invited in to do what is now considered one of the show’s most memorable sketches just a few months after he was namechecked by Mooney (though he’s had a hard time living that down as well.)
Watch Wayne Brady discuss his complicated relationship with Chappelle’s Show on The Breakfast Club at the 27:00 mark below. Scroll on to see both of the sketches in question.
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