Whether it be an indecipherable tweet or a shrugging meme, Kanye West has a habit of making us laugh without even trying. But lost in the history of the early aughts is a Kanye who tried really hard to be funny. Wired just released an oral history on the pilot Alligator Boots, a puppet-based sketch comedy show West created with Chicago rapper Rhymefest in 2007.
Quotes from writers, producers, directors, and puppeteers mostly reveal some not-so-surprising things:
Tom Stern (director): It’s not like Kanye had a ton of ideas about comedy, but the things that he did care about were more like what kinds of sunglasses and sneakers the puppets would wear.
And other somewhat shocking things that we shouldn’t be surprised by:
Kellison: I went to [West’s] house and he had this great ceiling that had sort of a Sistine Chapel-type mural painted on it—with him in it. I remember thinking that was the baller-est thing I’d ever seen in my life. He had a room just filled with clothes, like out of a Macy’s warehouse kind of thing. He said, “When I saw American Psycho, I felt like: I’m a little bit like that Patrick Bateman character, but without the murders.”
But the biggest revelation is that rooted in Alligator Boots are two of the biggest present-day pop culture phenomenons: Get Out and Kimye.
Jordan Peele was a writer on the pilot and was simultaneously working on his first screenplay, which eventually became one of the biggest movies of the year a decade later.
Similarly noteworthy for the history books: West first met Kim Kardashian on the set of Alligator Boots after watching her sex tape with Ray-J and insisting she be hired to play his love interest on the show, because nothing goes together like sex tapes and puppets. All that remains of the show is a 10-minute behind-the-scenes documentary, but the legend of the Kardashian-Wests will go down in infamy.