This week, Jordan Peele released a video in which he recreated, word-for-word, an infamous interview James Brown gave in 1988. And you need to see it.
As the so-called Godfather of Soul, Brown is famous for a lot of things, pioneering a new energetic style of live performance and influencing generations of musicians that came after. In 1988, after being arrested for domestic abuse and released on bail, Brown went on CNN‘s Sonya Live in L.A. to talk about the charges and his upcoming tour.
Comedian Peele, meanwhile, is most famous for his work with Keegan-Michael Key on their show Key & Peele, in which they created all manner of characters and impersonated all kinds of celebrities. That show may be over now, but Peele hasn’t lost his talent for impersonation. In his recreation video (Peele says it happened in 1987, but CNN’s post of the video says April 4, 1988), Peele does a good job mimicking Brown’s strange mannerisms and slurred speech (the popular belief is that the singer was drunk during the interview) but he didn’t really have to add anything strange. Brown’s original interview, which you can watch here, was already weird enough. When host Dr. Sonya Friedman asked him questions about the abuse charges, Brown would often respond with his own song lyrics (“Living in America…”) or not answer at all. When she asked him why “the ladies love you,” Brown said, “I make love good.”
Watch Peele’s video below.