Dave Chappelle has gotten plenty of credit in 2020.
His Netflix special, 8:46, was one of the most-viewed YouTube videos of the year. Chappelle also hosted Saturday Night Live in addition to seeing his popular comedy show added — and then removed — from Netflix.
Now, TikTok users are looking to give Chappelle credit for another, stranger accomplishment: inventing “Carpool Karaoke.”
The celebrity-starring, vehicle-based show is usually hosted by James Corden as part of The Late Late Show, but now, social media users are claiming the idea was “stolen” from Chappelle.
As evidence, several TikTokers have shared a 2003 clip from “Chappelle’s Show.” In the video, Chappelle and rapper Yasiin Bey (known as Mos Def at the time) ride together in a car while Bey raps along to one of his songs.
“This aired in 2003 !!! Somebody pay the man,” user @bliss_blunts captioned their video of the footage.
The clip has made the rounds online for years now and has always sparked a debate about how similar the two concepts really are.
As many TikTok users pointed out, Bey is only rapping to his own song, whereas “Carpool Karaoke” contestants often sing songs by other artists as well. Also, on “Carpool Karaoke,” Corden usually participates — whereas, in 2003, Chappelle seemed content to just watch.
“This is a stretch, recording in the car is cool but it’s not an invention,” one user wrote.
Still, other TikTokers praised the “Chappelle’s Show” segment, which they called “way ahead of its time.”
“It’s super surprising to Gen Z that anything was invented before the first time they saw it,” one user wrote.
“My thoughts exactly when watching this,” another wrote of the claim that the idea was “stolen.”
It’s impossible to prove that “Carpool Karaoke” actually took any inspiration from Chappelle. In reality, James Corden may just really love singing in the car.
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