Prince, who needs no introduction, died today at the age of 57. He was, of course, a singular musical talent, sex symbol, fashion icon, someone whose mystique made you believe every story you heard about him, and, to an admittedly far lesser extent, a man who maybe loved pancakes, but most certainly loved breakfast.
Most prominently, perhaps, there’s the character of Cynthia Rose, immortalized in Prince’s “Starfish and Coffee” with the following lyrics:
If you asked her what she had for breakfast
This is what she’d say
Starfish and coffee
Maple syrup and jam
Butterscotch clouds, a tangerine
And a side order of ham
If you set your mind free, baby
Maybe you’d understand
But Prince’s real association with breakfast began — in recent years, anyway — with that infamous “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories” skit on Chappelle’s Show, which depicted Prince & Co. crushing Murphy and his friends in a “shirts vs. blouses” basketball game — then serving them pancakes.
In 2013, Prince used a still of Chappelle from the sketch as the cover of his single “Breakfast Can Wait.” Promoting the single that year, Prince also verified the accuracy of Chappelle’s sketch in a Soulhead interview: “Oh, yeah, that’s real.”
The same year, Prince hosted a concert called the Breakfast Experience Pajama Party in his Minnesota home and studio, where pancakes were in fact served. It didn’t end there. When he guest-starred on New Girl, he offered love advice to Zooey Deschanel’s character while eating, of course, pancakes, which he at one point demands she finish.
However, when he showed up as a guest on the The Arsenio Hall Showlater that year, Prince switched gears. Asked by an audience member what household chore he does that would surprise people, Prince says, “I can cook,” before adding, “But only one thing … ” Pancakes, right? Instead, Prince drops this unexpected bit of trivia: “Omelettes. All my friends have high cholesterol.”