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Watch the Pilot for Kanye West’s Scrapped 2007 HBO Sitcom

Watch the Pilot for Kanye West’s Scrapped 2007 HBO Sitcom

Kanye West is known for pursuing a lot of things outside of music, but finding out he once wanted to be the next Larry David was not on our 2023 bingo card. But alas, the evidence has surfaced on YouTube.

In the early 2000s, the rapper extraordinaire watched one season of David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and decided he wanted to make a show just like it. He even got Curb director Larry Charles to co-write and direct a pilot for him, which HBO swiftly rejected in 2007.

For those unfamiliar with Curb, the series revolves around David, an aging, misanthropic comedy writer who constantly finds himself in awkward situations due to his blunt remarks and refusal to adhere to social norms. West saw himself in this character and believed he could shine in his own improvised comedy masterpiece. There was just one issue: West may have shared David’s social ineptitude, but he certainly didn’t possess the same comedic finesse.

The result? Picture West making crass remarks in front of a terminally ill Make-A-Wish Foundation fan without any of the clever punchlines or absurdist undertones that make Curb so beloved. The awkwardness remains, but the laughs? Nowhere to be found.

From HBO’s perspective, red flags were flying all over the place. Firstly, writing rap songs and penning a comedy series are about as related as a cookbook and a work of fiction. While some musicians have successfully made the leap to screenwriting, it’s far from a guaranteed recipe for quality. Secondly, West and Charles only had a brief outline; the rest was intended to be improvised. Even West himself knew he wasn’t a master improviser, but he clung to a Jerry Seinfeld quote about surrounding oneself with better talent in the hopes that comedic magic would materialize.

But here’s the rub: West couldn’t just blend in with the ensemble cast. Being the megastar that he is, he either had to make a fleeting cameo or take on the lead role. He chose the latter, out of sheer necessity. Thus, we’re presented with Kanye attempting improvisational comedy in what appears to be a semi-autobiographical tale of indulging in takeout food, fretting about his breath during a trip to visit a dying fan, and obsessing over the lasting impression he leaves on people.

To put it bluntly, the pilot is as bad as it sounds. Unfortunately, it never grasps its own absurdity and persistently tries to force dry humor upon us, resulting in a banal acid trip or some other inexplicable occurrence that leaves you questioning your sanity. It’s essentially Curb Your Enthusiasm stripped of its laughter-inducing charm. Watch for yourself:


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