For its 100th episode, Black-ish aired a Prince tribute last night. If you have a cable login, you can watch the whole thing here; if not, most of the musical highlights are available to the general public and viewable below.
The premise of the ep — upon realizing one of their kids doesn’t know who Prince is, parents Dre (Anthony Anderson) and Bow (Tracee Ellis Ross) embark on performances of some of his classic songs, often in costume — was inspired by a real-life experience series creator Kenya Barris had. Showrunner Kenny Smith explained the genesis to Vulture:
How did the concept of a Prince episode first arise?
Over the summer, when we got together the first week [of the new season], Kenya [Barris] came in and told us this story about how he was at dinner with some friends and there was a guy in his twenties and they started playing Prince on the restaurant system. He was like, “Who is this?” Kenya was flabbergasted. “What do you mean, who is this? This is Prince.”
I would have just thrown down my napkin and walked out of the restaurant.
[Laughs] Kenya actually gave him a list of songs he had to listen to. Later on the guy called him back — he went through Purple Rain and Sign O’ The Times, and he was a huge Prince fan by the end. So Kenya said he wanted to do an episode where one of the kids didn’t know who Prince was. We started developing it from there.
The show got permission from Prince’s estate to use most of his catalog, and they ended up performing tunes including “Kiss,” “Erotic City,” “Sign O’ The Times,” “Sexy MF,” “When Doves Cry,” “Purple Rain,” and “Nothing Compares 2 U.” Watch the clips below.