“Game, Blouses:” The Real Story Behind Dave Chappelle’s Prince Basketball Skit
Despite the fact that its final episode aired 10 years ago this month, Dave Chappelle’s Chappelle’s Show remains one of the finest sketch comedy shows ever produced. It spawned a host of legendary skits and characters, from the depictions of the blind Black White supremacist Clayton Bigsby to revelations about Wayne Brady’s dark side. However, perhaps the most iconic recurring installment of the show was “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories,” in which Murphy would recount tales of his days in the 80s, while hanging around his brother, Eddie, and his pals. That series of sketches led to a renaissance for Rick James, and yielded a pop culture moment for the ages, with a particular story Murphy told about a night he spent with Prince.
Murphy starts the skit recalling what seems like a regular night in 1985 at a Los Angeles club. Part of what made Murphy’s stories so classic were the ultra-specific and often absurd details he used when describing people. As Murphy remembers Prince’s arrival, he says of the legendary artist, “That’s when Purple Rain came out and Prince was the sh*t. Prince had on a ‘Zorro-‘type outfit…It looked like something that a figure skater would wear.” Murphy also noted the appearance of Micki Free, a male singer, who accompanied Prince, saying “Micki Free was like the new cat in Shalamar that, when he joined the group, I heard mad cats like ‘Yo, Shalamar got a new girl in there. That bitch fine like muthaf**ka.” From there, Murphy goes on to recount a wild night of hanging out with Prince that included a thorough ass-whipping in basketball for Murphy and his friends, by Prince and his crew, including Free, though Prince was gracious enough to make the losers pancakes afterward.
Murphy’s story was beyond outrageous. He claimed that Prince and his friends wore the same clothes they did in the club to play on the court, including high heels. The skit also showed the 5’2″ Prince dunking, hanging on the rim, then slowly floating to the ground. It’s unclear how much of the story was true vs. embellishment for humor’s sake. Now, more than 30 years after the alleged basketball beatdown, Micki Free speaks with The Undefeated to set the record straight.
“Everything in that skit is true,” said Free. “I played in that game. And Prince was Steph Curry all m—–f—— night!” As The Undefeated reports, Prince was actually a strong athlete in high school. That’s not surprising, given the acrobatics he performed on stage for decades, in high heels. And, his basketball coach, Albert Nuness confirms Prince had skills on the court, too. “His game was quickness. He wasn’t the best shooter, but he could split the seams and pass the ball and because of his size people loved to watch him,” Nuness said. “The player he reminds me of — Spud Webb. He didn’t have the leaping ability like Spud, but his quickness was very similar.” Nuness also told The Undefeated that, had Prince gone to any other school in Minneapolis, he would have gotten a lot more playing time, but his school’s team, at the time, was “considered the greatest ever assembled in Minnesota.”
Although Prince’s basketball talents have been established, Murphy must have been kidding about what The Purple One and his friends wore during the game, right? Not so much…“Yes, it’s true, we had on ‘blouses,’ and frilly shirts,” said Free. “The same clothes we had at the club. Prince played in 6-inch heels!” Free also confirmed that pancakes were indeed served, after Prince and his team served Charlie Murphy and team on the court.