Dave Chappelle Had A Dog That Good Time’s Esther Rolle Didn’t Like, Half Baked’s Jim Breur Tells Story

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In 1998 a 21 year-old Dave Chappelle put together the stoner comedy, Half Baked. The film featured Chappelle, cast, and SNL’s Jim Bruer. In an feature with Vulture, Jim recently talked with Pete Davidson and touched on some of his favorite career moments. One moment in particular was when Dave bought a dog that he would bring to the Half Baked set. Turns out the dog needed a little home training that actress Esther Rolle from Good Times even took notice.

Davidson: Of all the things you’ve done — SNL, stand-up, Half Baked — what was the most fun?

Breur: Hands down, it was Half Baked. I didn’t believe it was real. We knew each other, and Dave [Chappelle] saw me at Carolines and comes to me, “Hey, man, I wrote this movie. You’ve got to play the main guy. It’s gonna blow up, man. You gon’ play the main high guy, represent my brother, Brian.” And then I got the script. I never laughed so hard in my life. And then it didn’t seem like we were really filming a movie. But also I worked my ass off for that movie. People don’t realize this, but not one thing I said in that whole movie was improvised. I did, word for word, every line that was written. People think we just wung it. And Dave was, like, 21. He was so irresponsible, yet there’s a movie being filmed. You know he’s got this movie.

Davidson: He had his movie being made.

Breur: Yeah, he’s got 50 people working for him ‘cuz it’s his movie. He bought a dog. I gotta say, to this day, whenever I feel a little sad, I laugh so hard at thinking of Dave trying to take care of this stupid dog named Monk. I said, “Dave, what are you doing with this thing?” He goes, “Man, I need a companion.” And the dog was a terror. We were staying in this beautiful place, and the dog is shitting in the lobby. Billy Joel is there. Sting is there. The dog is ripping up the furniture. He bit everybody on the set. We almost got kicked out. The woman who played the mother in Good Times was staying in our hall. And it smelled like smoke and shit. So one day, me and Dave are in his room, and we open up and there’s the woman from Good Times. Dave’s like, “Oh my God, it’s such an honor to meet you!” and blah blah blah. And she goes, “Are you the one staying in this room? You gotta shut that goddamn dog up. He barks all day. He smells like shit!” I don’t think I’ve laughed any harder in my life. They were gonna kick him out of this place, so he sends the dog to an obedience school. And Dave says, “Jim, I am so proud of Monk. He’s startin’ to pee and poo outside.” This goes on for six weeks, and he drops like twenty-five hundred bucks. He calls me to his room and he’s like, “Jim, come up here, I’m so excited.” I go to the room, and he’s like, “Jim, wait ‘til you see this!” He goes, “Monk, sit.” And he sits. He goes, “Monk, roll over.” Rolls over. “Good boy, good boy. Gimme a paw!” Gives him it. And then we go out on the balcony. Dave’s like, “Man, you know, it’s like having a kid. I knew he was good, but you just gotta send him to school.” And while we’re on the balcony, I turn around and Monk is shitting on his bed. I go, “Dave!” Dave turns around and he’s furious. He’s chasin’ Monk all over the place. Monk ran under his bed. And I’ll never forget this visual. Dave ducks down to go under the bed — I’m howling laughing, I can’t control my laughter — Dave lifts his head up and he looked like a kid who just got punished. I go, “Dave, what’s the matter?” He goes, “Man, there’s about 40 piles of crap under my bed. I sent this dog to obedience school and spent all this money, six weeks, and all he learned was how to be sneaky!” To this day, I swear on my life, I don’t think I’ve laughed harder. I had a partial stroke. So that was the best time ever.

That’s my dog.

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