People mainly point to two bits when talking about 21st century comedy on R. Kelly's child pornography case: Huey Freeman talking some sense into the courtroom on The Boondocks and the absurd "Piss on You" skit on Chappelle's Show. Both have made social media rounds after the damning Surviving R. Kelly docu-series.
The rediscoveries led to the obvious question of how do the people behind those segments feel about them now. Chappelle's Show co-creator Neal Brennan talked about lampooning R. Kelly in a recent stop at The Breakfast Club. During the conversation, the comedian (there chiefly to promote the Comedians of the World Netflix specials) addressed how some people were upset the show made light of a very serious case instead of cackling.
“I don’t think people understand what comedy is supposed to do,” Brennan said about the 16-year-old bit. “We will observe things, we will 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?”
People were mad last week that we did an R. Kelly sketches 15 years ago. Here's me explaining comedy to them. pic.twitter.com/FQoxIALqkr— Neal Brennan (@nealbrennan) January 15, 2019
The spiciest sound bite comes when Brennan mentions R. Kelly's reaction. The disgraced singer also didn't laugh. “R. Kelly wanted to fight Dave,” Brennan claimed. “His goons stepped to Dave in Chicago and Dave’s goons intervened. The goons negotiated.”
Back in 2016, Kelly told GQ that he'd never seen that skit and acted like he'd never heard of Chappelle. That felt fishy well before Brennan's interview because he was spotted at the 2005 VMAs with a shirt printed with the popular Chappelle's Show slogan, "I'm Rick James, Bitch!"
Chappelle himself hasn't commented on the alleged sex predator since Surviving R. Kelly aired, but he was called out by showrunner dream hampton for declining to appear on the docu-series (he did call him “King of R&B" during a show last December.) The Boondocks' creator Aaron McGruder also weighed in on Huey's moment recently, telling The Undefeated "a lot of people are trying to reconcile their older selves and their R. Kelly fandom.”'
And as for R. Kelly, between reported panic attacks, a criminal investigation, and run-ins with the police, he has a lot more to worry about than supposedly trying to beat up comedians. Watch Neal Brennan's full interview above.