Most people probably used this past weekend to listen to Kanye West talking about how he’s like Jesus, or something. This isn’t, however, the first time the rapper has compared himself to a Jewish icon. Around 2006 West declared that he and Larry David are basically the same person. So he developed an improv-based sitcom that would explore the many moods of Kanye West for HBO. The project would never see the light of day.
Listeners of the “Jordan Jesse Go” podcast already know the story – A few years ago comedian Matt Besser revealed that he was asked to coach West, who doesn’t have any improv experience, before the taping of the pilot. Spoiler: West didn’t turn out to be a team player. Now the podcast’s co-host Jesse Thorn has found clips from the pilot. (Thorn, by the way, has secured his status as a Righteous among the Nations in the history of Jewish comedy: He taught Marc Maron how to set up his recording equipment when he started WTF. Also, Mel Brooks likes him.
In the clip Kanye has to face a decidedly Curb-like scenario: A sick child wants to meet him, but things don’t go as planned. There is some awkwardness when Kanye insists on listing all the magazines that had him on the cover. It’s all very clumsy.
But given the extremely slow-burning nervous breakdown that West seems to be going through for a couple of years now the show certainly would have been interesting. How would his struggles with fame and alienation and guilt find their way into the sitcom? And in any event, it couldn’t have been more disappointing than that sitcom starring Method Man and Redman.
*sheds a single Wu-shaped tear*