Rapper Snoop Dogg Gets MTV Comedy Show
NEKESA MUMBI MOODY
Jun. 20, 2003
NEW YORK (AP) _ There are plenty of the bleeped words, censored images and blue humor that one has come to expect from Snoop Dogg in his new MTV comedy series, ``Doggy Fizzle Televizzle.''
Yet the gangsta rapper-turned-media maven doesn't think anyone will get too offended when the half-hour series makes its premiere 10 p.m. EDT Sunday.
``It's not distasteful, it's all in good taste,'' Snoop, who's also been featured in ``Girls Gone Wild'' and porn videos, told The Associated Press in a recent interview. ``It's not as many bleeps as in `The Osbournes.'''
Snoop is just the latest celebrity to have an MTV series. ``The Osbournes'' became an instant sensation when it debuted two seasons ago, chronicling the foul-mouthed clan of rocker Ozzy. And actor Ashton Kutcher's ``Punk'd,'' an edgier version of ``Candid Camera,'' has gotten plenty of buzz since it debuted earlier this year.
But Snoop (real name: Calvin Broadus, and formerly Snoop Doggy Dogg) said his show is unique: ``I'm changing the face of TV.''
Actually, with skits best described as ``In Living Color'' meets ``Saturday Night Live,'' Snoop's show resembles the ``The Lyricist Lounge Show,'' which had a few airings on MTV three years ago.
Tom Calderone, executive vice president of music and talent at the MTV Networks, wouldn't compare the two shows, but said of ``Doggy Fizzle Televizzle'': ``It's certainly one of those shows where you watch it and it definitely breaks the mold of something that had been done on the channel for quite a while.''
The cable network first approached the 31-year-old with the idea of a show about two years ago, impressed by the rapper's popularity and longevity.
Snoop made his debut more than a decade ago on hits like ``Nothin' But a G Thang'' with Dr. Dre, and is still a mainstay on the network, with hits like the current ``Beautiful.'' He's also been in several movies, including ``Training Day,'' ``The Wash,'' ``Baby Boy'' and ``Bones.'' He's made guest appearances on TV comedies and even helped popularize new words like ``F'shizzle,'' which in rap-Latin means ``for sure.''
``We knew that he was just naturally comfortable with being funny,'' said Michele Dix, a development executive for the show. ``We knew we wanted to build something around his personality _ a personality that's cool.''
But the rapper had to be convinced at first.
``I wasn't never really tripping on doing no TV show,'' he said in a phone interview during a break from a recent tour. ``I didn't think I was ready for TV, because TV puts parameters and limits on you, you can't really do what you want to do, or say what you wanna say ... I don't like to be told what to do and what not to do.''
Snoop said he eventually became convinced when he was granted complete control of the show.
``They basically wanted Snoop Dogg. MTV loves Snoop Dogg. The viewers, the peoples, the top-notch bosses over there, they just wanted to see Snoop Dogg,'' he said. ``However they got him, they didn't really care.''
While Snoop has displayed a wry sense of humor in some of his film roles and has gotten acclaim for others, most of his screen appearances haven't been too different from his rap image _ a steely cool character with slow drawl and a sneer.
``I think on this TV show, I give myself roles that you wouldn't expect me to have, because I know what I can do and I know how far I will reach out to do those types of roles,'' he said. ``It just gives me a chance to show them how diverse I am.''
In Sunday's show, Snoop's ``diversity'' will include skits where he acts as a black Napoleon, takes senior citizens on a wild field trip, and helps straighten out a white suburban kid who's too into black culture.
A pilot show that aired last year garnered strong ratings, MTV said. Six more episodes were ordered.
Snoop Dogg said having a show on MTV at this point in his career gives people the opportunity to see that he's more than just a sneering rapper.
``This gives me a chance to show them a side of me that I know is what people love me for _ the fun and exciting side of Snoop Dogg, and that's what the show is all about.''
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