Prince on New Girl

[11:05pm] Well, that’s a wrap. It’s hard for me to say how that ranked as a New Girl episode, but it seemed the narrative of the show may have been subordinated to getting Prince some good lines. That being said, the little man certainly acquitted himself well, and I would absolutely watch a weekly show with Prince in character as this version of himself.

[11:00pm] And love triumphs! Jess finally tells Nick she loves him, and does so while dressed (on Prince’s advice) like Stevie Nicks. It could be Prince’s lingering memories of having created “Stand Back” with Stevie back in the 80s.

[10:55pm] A little digression: Prince’s “When You Were Mine” inspired Janet Jackson’s “Just A Little While”, which was the lead single from her album Damita Jo, the record she was promoting with her ill-fated Super Bowl appearance a decade ago. See the video here.

[10:50pm] The pancakes references continue, along with Prince simply nodding in response to hearing, “You’re good!” Which is exactly what his actual response would be.

I think I’ve waited my whole life for a music montage in a primetime sitcom to be set to Prince’s “When You Were Mine”. And here we are!

The ping pong thing there is not some affectation created by the writers; it’s an affectation that Prince actually lives and breathes. For example, here’s a terrifying and wonderful anecdote from Jimmy Fallon about being summoned to Susan Sarandon’s hipster ping pong club in Manhattan (I walk by this a couple times a week) for an impromptu table tennis ass-whooping.

[10:45pm] Hey it’s a pancake reference! Thanks, Dave Chappelle.

Little bit of trivia: eight years before Chappelle Show did its Charlie Murphy True Hollywood Story about Prince that introduced the pancake narrative, a then-mostly-unknown Dave Chappelle was featured in a special where Prince took over VH1 for a few hours. And the pancake thing took on enough of a life with Prince that when his most recent single, “Breakfast Can Wait” was released, the cover was, you guessed it, actually Dave.

Breakfast Can Wait

[10:40pm] Prince appears! Do note: I have absolutely no respect for people who would actually lower themselves into freaking out when meeting Prince. You’re obligated to be cool about it.

This question comes up a lot with casual fans, but yes Prince really is his real name. Prince Rogers Nelson.

[10:38pm] The first failed attempt by Jess to say “I love you” ends in her passing out, to the sounds of Andy Allo’s “People Pleaser”, which was produced by Prince in late 2012.

[10:35pm] Playing in the background here as our heroines enter Prince’s party is “Give ‘Em What They Love” a Prince duet from Janelle Monae’s album The Electric Lady. Late last year Prince said her album was the best album of 2013.

Here’s Prince anointing Janelle’s album onstage after they played together in late December:

[10:25pm] And we’re off! We’ve got the setup, based on Prince’s manager almost running over our heroines and making it up to them by inviting them to a party at Prince’s house. This is plausible; Prince has a few young women who manages some of his affairs, like Kiran Sharma. No word from her yet if she’s ever nearly run over Zooey Deschanel.

[10:00pm] Prince was of course chosen to star in this post-Super Bowl episode of New Girl due to his performance in Super Bowl XLI being the greatest halftime show of all time. I wrote a brief introduction to that performance before it aired.

Prince tends to optimize his entire career around maintaining control, which regularly puts him in the position of shutting down videos and streams of his work online. As a result, there’s no high-quality version of his Super Bowl performance online. [You can read the full story of how Prince won the Super Bowl here. ]

The playlist featured Prince’s own “Let’s Go Crazy” and “Baby, I’m A Star”, along with covers of Hendrix’s version of Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” and Foo Fighters’ “Best Of You”, but the undeniable highlight was Prince performing his signature “Purple Rain” in, you guessed it, a purple rain.

[9:30pm] Now that the Super Bowl is over, we can get on to the main event: Prince’s appearance on New Girl. I’ve never seen New Girl, but I don’t think that should hurt my ability to document the important part of this episode, which is Prince.

The premise of this episode is that Jess and Nick are going to tell each other they love each other, but are struggling to do so. This will be resolved by Jess consulting with Prince for advice after the crew ends up at a party at Prince’s house. Prince did use to regularly hold house parties at his Los Angeles house, which he called “3121” and had named an album after. (True story: I got invited to a party at Prince’s house in L.A. once. I had to get a purple raincheck, and ended up going to his Oscar party instead.)

If you haven’t kept up with Prince in a while, don’t worry: He’s timeless. Here’s a comparison of his appearance at the beginning of Purple Rain (which was released 30 years ago), and his appearance in the episode of New Girl tonight.
Prince in Purple Rain and on New Girl

On the day of the Super Bowl, one of the most commonly-search-for terms on the Internet is the obvious question: What time is Prince going to be on New Girl? The popular Fox sitcom will be featuring the iconic pop star this year, and so it’s natural that people across the Internet would ask, “What time is the episode of New Girl that features Prince?”

Fortunately, this is a very easy question to answer. This special episode of New Girl, featuring Prince, is on after the Super Bowl. That’s on the east coast. On the west coast, the Prince episode of New Girl is on after the Super Bowl.

Stay tuned here at approximately 10:00pm to 10:30pm Eastern Time, when the special Prince episode of New Girl will begin. We’ll have live-blogging coverage of the event as it happens. You can follow along by refreshing here.

Related Reading

  • Heaven, Hell, Marvin, Prince and the Party: A rumination on the role that Marvin Gaye and Prince’s fathers played in their spirituality and work ethic, and how this is reflected in the way they partied on some of their signature records.
  • A Golden Era of Prince Scholarship: There’s been a renaissance (a Revolution?) in taking Prince’s work seriously in recent years; Here’s a brief glimpse at the wonderful results of that flowering of research.
  • Toure’s I Would Die 4 U was a great look at Prince’s place in the larger cultural canon, and I was delighted to be quoted it.
  • Why not spare an hour and a half to hear Questlove, Toure, Danyel Smith and Alan Leeds talking about their uniquely informed perspectives on Prince’s career? It’s totally worth it.