This is one of those weird by-ways of entertainment culture that will probably never be cleared up entirely. In 2005 an mp3, apparently of Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s audition tape for the role of a rebooted TV series of Mister Ed, surfaced on the essential “Beware of the Blog” run by the great free-form Hoboken, New Jersey, radio station WFMU.
Mister Ed, of course, is part of the grand tradition of ridiculous TV shows from the early 1960s, when people would watch anything, it seems. Mister Ed was a CBS sitcom about a talking horse that ran for nearly five years, just like My Mother the Car was about a talking car. What’s for sure is that there was such a reboot in the works around 2004. It was the project of Drake Sather, a standup comedian whom I vaguely remember who tragically committed suicide not long after Ol’ Dirty Bastard died of an overdose. The series was in the pipeline at FOX—Sherman Hemsley beat out ODB for the role of the equine rapscallion (assuming ODB ever tried out for the part).
So what is this, exactly? We can only hope that it’s what it appears to be, an authentic audition by Ol’ Dirty Bastard for the role of Mister Ed. If it is, we can only applaud Sather and company for thinking out of the box—if only this series existed! Alternately, there are two other possibilities—either ODB and his crew were messing around, having fun or else it’s someone else. If it’s someone else, then that person gets the genius points, whoever he is.
ODB’s down-tempo, basso profundo approach to the part is inspired, He appears to flub a line, replacing “hoof” for “boot,” which makes it all the more amusing. I’m going to have these lines in my head all day: “Lawman, what we donna do about Dakota? ... Dude, I read the emails…. Let’s not get all familiar on the first date…. I seen WNBA teams with more game, than that….”
I think, I hope, I pray it’s legit—I think it’s ODB.