Do you remember the infamous Prince basketball story as told by Charlie Murphy on Chappelle’s Show? It is indeed one for the history books as the 1985 game still rings hilariously in 2021. Although Charlie Murphy told the story so effortlessly, many would have thought the sketch to be fictional. As unbelievable as the story may have been, it is indeed a true one.
Heavy on the promotional trail for Coming 2 America, the highly-anticipated sequel to its 1988 original, Eddie Murphy confirmed the story to be true while on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Fallon asked the film’s star what his favorite memory would be regarding the legendary late artist and he referred to the now infamous game. According to Murphy, the game occurred after Prince asked him and his group to play, although not properly outfitted.
“We had on club clothes and Prince had on that outfit that was in the ‘Kiss’ video, where he had the little short shirt and the leather jacket with the buttons,” Murphy told Fallon. “He had that outfit on and a little gold chain around his waist. It was Prince and some dude named Micki Free that used to hang out. They used to all wear that kind of Prince’s clothes so my brother was like, ‘Alright it’s going to be shirts against blouses.’ And they teamed up and the blouses won. They beat the f**k out of us.”
Micki Free, a blues/rock guitarist, also gave an account of the moment while interviewing with Esquire where he admits that “Charlie Murphy wasn’t lying. Everything that happened in that [“True Hollywood Stories” sketch] was for real,” Free said. “We went back to Prince’s house after the club. It was 1985, and there was a bunch of girls with Eddie [Murphy], myself, Charlie—rest in peace—and some other guys. And out of nowhere Prince says, ‘Do you guys want to play basketball?’ Me and Charlie and Eddie are looking at each other like, what the hell? And Prince goes, ‘Me, Micki, and Gilbert against you, Eddie, and Uncle Ray.’”
He added, “We played three-on-three. I don’t remember if we changed our clothes, but I know for certain that Prince did not change his. He didn’t gear up to play. If anything changed beyond the blouses, it was his heels. Prince changed into some tennis shoes. All I remember is when Prince made that first shot, it was all-net. I’m looking at him make shot after shot, like, ‘What the hell?’ Then at the end they really did make us pancakes—blueberry pancakes. And they were good! Hanging out with Prince was magical.”
Coming 2 America will debut on Amazon Prime on March 5th.