They weren’t kidding about pancakes being served at Saturday’s late-night basketball game with Dave Chappelle at Target Center. In fact, the comedian himself even handed out some flapjacks — just as Prince did in the famous Chappelle skit that inspired the unconventional after-party.

“If I don’t get back to work soon, you really might see me serving pancakes at IHOP,” Chappelle joked to one fan, referring to his long hiatus from TV.

Saturday’s charity basketball fete marked an end to the 40-year-old comic’s triumphant 12-show marathon in Minneapolis. He started Monday at First Avenue and continued through Saturday with two sold-out stand-up sets per night at the Pantages Theatre.

Chappelle repeatedly referenced “Purple Rain” on stage at First Ave, where much of Prince’s 1984 movie was filmed. The hastily organized Target Center hoopathon seemed like the final homage to Prince, whom Chappelle memorably portrayed as a frilly but surprisingly athletic competitor in a pancake-accompanied pickup game on his namesake Comedy Central TV series in 2004.

Prince did not make it to the party, but he did send a $25,000 donation. Proceeds from the session benefited the Timberwolves’ Fastbreak Foundation for youth development. The thousand or so attendees — ticket holders from the stand-up sets — bought $5 raffle tickets for prizes and the chance to shoot “HORSE”-style hoops with the comedian and Wolves players Ronny Turiaf and Robbie Hummel.

Hanging around until 2:30 a.m. to snap photos with fans, Chappelle thanked them not only for putting money toward the cause but for distracting him from other after-party shenanigans.

“If I wasn’t doing this, I’d just be getting in trouble somewhere else,” he said.


Chris Riemenschneider 612-673-4658