In our ongoing celebration of Prince, we’d like to take a moment and appreciate just how pervasive he was in pop culture. He may not have been as ubiquitous when he passed as he was in his heyday, but he’s still just about everywhere, hidden away in all kinds of cultural references—especially on TV and film. With that in mind, here’s eight of Prince’s most memorable pop culture appearances:
Wacky as always, the Animaniacs drop some great wordplay and confuse “Prince” for the finger “prints” they’re looking for. They toss him aside when they realize he isn’t a clue—I think I would’ve given up my search for clues right then and there.
Speaking of fingerprints, Prince’s were all over Happy Feet. He wrote the film’s theme song, “The Song of the Heart,” and the penguins cover “Kiss” in the movie’s intro. 🎶”You don’t need to be beautiful to turn me on”🎶…you just need to be a penguin.
Prince was chic, straight up. His ostentatious dress was one of the things that made him princely. He wasn’t above dressing in overalls and a cowboy hat while donning an old-timey drawl for the Muppets, though. On a classic episode of Muppets Tonight, Prince sings as a cowpoke and then performs a song that he “wrote” in the Muppets commissary: his children’s track, “Starfish and Coffee.”
No, Prince wasn’t actually in the film, but he gets a great shout out. In this scene, Richard Gere is talking on the phone while Julia Roberts is in the tub singing, “Kiss.” “Don’t you just love Prince?,” she asks Gere when he walks in. His response probably echoes a lot of our feelings right now: “More than life itself.”
SNL’s “The Prince Show”
Saturday Night Live has left nearly no stone unturned, and that includes Prince, of course. In a recurring series, Fred Armisen played the icon and host of “The Prince Show”—usually accompanied by Beyoncé (played by Maya Rudolph). Check out this classic holiday episode with Robert De Niro.
Rush Hour 3
Rush Hour 3 isn’t the best movie of all-time, and Chris Tucker isn’t the best singer, either. But major props to him for attempting to nail Prince’s “Do Me Baby” at the beginning of the film—while directing traffic…
Prince was a big fan of Fox’s New Girl, and, being Prince, he was able to work himself onto the show’s post-Super Bowl episode—right in the midst of the Nick-Jess romance. He plays himself and gets a few well-deserved “freak-outs.”
Laughter really is the best medicine. It may not seem like there’s room for comedy yet in these early stages of mourning, but do yourself a favor and give the reins to Dave Chappelle. In one of “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories,” Murphy and his crew play basketball against Prince (Chappelle) and his entourage. Given that Prince’s team is wearing outfits that “looked like something a figure skater would wear,” Murphy declares the game “shirts vs. blouses.” Blouses destroy:
Know any other great Prince pop culture moments? Let us know in the comments, and may his spirit live long and purple inside our television sets.
Image: Warner Bros.