Art often imitates life, and it do so for one of Dave Chappelle’s most popular sketches on his series with Comedy Central. Co-creator Neal Brennan who has began his own live show (3 Mics), went on to speak about the story behind The Chappelle Show’s Blind Black White-Supremacist aka Clayton Bigsby. In his conversation with Vulture, Brennan revealed that the sketch was based off of Chappelle’s grandfather who was blind.
V: What were the origins of the sketch?
It was based on Dave’s grandfather, who was mixed-race and blind. The day Martin Luther King got shot, apparently he was on a bus and a bunch of black dudes came up to him and were like, “What you doing on this bus, cracker?” and Dave’s grandfather apparently thought, Man, this cracker is in a lot of trouble, before he realized, Oh, I’m the cracker. Dave explained to me, “He’s a black guy who doesn’t know he’s black,” and it just never made sense. I never knew what he meant, and then he explained to me that the character went to boarding school, and that’s why he didn’t know. Nobody told him he was black. It came rushing in, like I completely got it immediately.
Brennan went on to also share that their was some tension about actually releasing the sketch. Check out the full interview here.