James Brown was an incredible artist. We still celebrate his timeless legacy and see his influence in artists from all genres of music to this day. That’s not to say that the iconic bandleader and singer didn’t have his moments. One of the more notable controversies Brown experienced was in 1987, when the funk artist was arrested for allegedly hitting Adrienne Rodriguez (his wife at the time) with a lead pipe and shooting at her in their car during an argument.
After being released Brown made an appearance on CNN’s Sonya Live show in L.A. and refused to discuss what happened with Rodriguez, responding to host Sonya Friedman‘s questions by singing his songs and changing the subject to an upcoming tour that he was embarking on.
Inevitably, the interview was immortalized years after on the internet, with fans speculating whether the singer was drunk or on drugs (or both) during the chat.
Now, 28 years later, the moment has been recreated by Key & Peele star Jordan Peele, as he successfully imitates the artist’s erratic behavior from that day. The reenactment is word for word from both Peele and the woman portraying Friedman. “How did all of this trouble begin,” the news reporter asks, with Peele responding the same way Brown did — “Living in America!”
From there the two really capture what must have been one of the all-time most awkward music interviews ever to be broadcast on TV, with Brown dancing around and proclaiming that he “looks good, smells good and loves good” when asked why women love him so much. Peele does such a good job of impersonating Brown, mimicking not just his tone of voice but his mannerisms. Peele, if you read this, please make a YouTube channel where you just imitate certain memorable moments with black celebrities.
If the video makes you miss Key & Peele don’t fret. The comedic duo released all of their sketches on a special Key & Peele website earlier this month.
Compare Brown’s original interview with the recreation below.