The talents of Donnell Rawlings took him from the sidesplitting sideman and co-star of Chappelle Show to the star of Guy Court and Guy Code. On the latter series, which airs Wednesdays on MTV2, (check your local listings) the funnyman gets to rule and weigh in on all things sublime, alpha male and even ridiculous. Rawlings talked to BET.com about being the hot comic among the college set and what Dave Chappelle's reaction was to a possible Chappelle Show reunion.
The advice you give on Guy Code is lots of witty, hilarious common sense. Other than being a guy what makes you such an expert?
I think I am a good expert on Guy Code because I’ve had such a troubled life and so many failures. A lot of codes that we enforce are examples of failed situations and we try to make them sound a little better. When I started traveling more through my comedy tours, I discovered college kids really live by these codes.
Guy Code is a hit show and very popular among young adults, as was Chappelle Show when it aired 10 years ago. Are you recognized more for one series than another?
I was in a grocery store a little while ago—there was a lady who was probably in her late 30s and she was with her son who was in his early teens and she said, “Oh my god, that’s the guy from the Chappelle Show.” He corrected her and said, “No it’s not mom—that’s the guy from Guy Code.” So for me to be able to bridge those two generations, there’s something to be said about that. The gap from Chappelle Show to Guy Code has been a nice transition.
You had several popular sketch characters and catchphrases on Chappelle Show. Which do fans approach you with the most?
First off, they always want me to say, “I’m rich b****!” They’re always like, “Just say it, just say it, dude.” I guess it’s my equivalent to Jimmie JJ Walker saying, “Dyn-o-mite.” In this business, it’s so hard for people to remember you for anything, so whenever they do, you’ve got embrace it until you find another platform. Ashy Larry was a character I did on the World Series of Dice sketch that people really loved, so I’m sure that I’ll be ashy forever. But now, I’m the ashy guy from Guy Code.
The Wayans Family is currently doing a comedy tour with all the brothers. Have you, Dave Chappelle and Charlie Murphy ever considered doing a standup concert together, like a live Chappelle Show?
Not only would I consider it, I’m just waiting for Dave to do that long distance call from Africa and tell us we’re going back on the road. It’s so interesting that you ask me that question. At the end of last year, a week before the New Year, I noticed Dave was going to be in Florida. I texted him and asked, “If I come down to Florida, would you let me introduce you? And, at the end of show can I come up and say, ‘I’m rich b****?’” And he was like, “Sure.” So I get there and I thought that was the only thing I was going to do. Then I look at the lineup, and he had me scheduled for a 20-minute set.
So you guys did have a mini-reunion. What was the audience reaction like?
They started doing my intro and they were like, “The next guy coming to stage, he’s from Guy Code.” And people started clapping. “You know him from Guy Court…” people started clapping louder. They said, “You know him as Ashy Larry from the Chappelle Show…” and the place went bananas! That made me entertain the idea...what if we did a Chappelle Show tour? Dave let me do five more dates after that and, of course, I suggested to him let’s do something. I told Dave, “You have some loyal fans, obsessed fans and I think that it would be nice if you could put some kind of closure on the show.”
Did he really consider it, what did Dave say?
He looked at me as if, “Hmm, this is something to think about.” But there was no confirmation. I talk to Dave periodically. We keep in touch, but everybody has their separate lives. There’s no animosity. He has his life, Charlie has his life and I have mine. We all do our things individually. But it would be a great feeling to reunite with Dave, Charlie to do a Chappelle Show tour, even if it was just for one show or like an hour special—just to see us all together. That would be crazy and I know the fans would really love it.
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