[caption id="attachment_11697" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="Aziz Ansari, Kanye West and Kid Cudi at the Ace Hotel in New York City, February 2011. Photo: Jamie McCarthy/WireImage"][/caption]
Whether laughing at or with him, Kanye West's sense of humor has always permeated both his lyrics and personality, even if we did think that Watch the Throne suffered from ego fatigue instead of anything resembling yuk factor. But for every self-pitying, Crown of Thorns lyric, West isn't the just a self-serving, serious dude. He's got a sense of humor, even if it's a bit hard to find sometimes. Hive's here for you. Here's five proof positive instances that 'Ye's in on the joke ... sometimes.
1. Aziz Ansari's Night With Kanye
We're not sure when comedian Aziz Ansari started hanging out with his musical idol, but on his debut special Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening, Ansari constructs an entire bit around one night with Kanye. To no one's surprise, it involves clubs, Jay-Z, models and delusional arrogance. Ansari would later deliver a weird cameo in West and Jay-Z's "Otis" video, so apparently no hard feelings. [Watch here.]
2. Lyrics Lined With Comedy References
He may have made $16 million last year, but according to his lyrics, Kanye laughs at the same movies you do. Watch the Throne is just the latest album to contain an improbable comedy sample, cribbing dialogue from Blades of Glory for "N*ggas in Paris." The otherwise earnest "Jesus Walks" took a line from Billy Madison, while the rapper subtly name-dropped Napoleon Dynamite with his "Whatever I wanna do, gosh, it's cool now" line from "Monster." West has aligned himself with the Judd Apatow/Adam McKay universe, paying homage to Anchorman in Clipse's "Kinda Like a Big Deal" and nodding to Step Brothers by boasting his beats are "like a mix between Fergie and Jesus."
3. Puppets Run Rampant in "Champion" Video
For the video to his Steely Dan-sampling hit "Champion," Kanye brings out his puppet doppelgänger to run the 100-meter dash in the fictional Unified Games. Puppet Kanye is seen weightlifting, going on early morning jogs and, naturally, rocking the de rigueur slotted sunglasses. Guess who wins the race? Also: The idea of finding that hot Steely Dan sample is funny, too. [Watch here.]
4. Kanye Appears on The Cleveland Show
Seth MacFarlane's Family Guy spinoff got a boost last year when West appeared as "locally famous rapper Kenny West." A rap battle with Cleveland Jr. ensues and the episode ends with Kanye and Cleveland performing "Be-Cleve in Yourself." "Kenny" calls himself the "Black Zac Efron," claims he was "lower than Lohan" and needs inspiration like "Mr. Miyagi, but a lot less Asian." The line between intentional and unintentional humor has never been blurrier. West returns this season with will.i.am, Nicki Minaj, Bruno Mars and ?uestlove playing the rap Illuminati. [Watch here and here.]
5. Kanye Cameos in The Love Guru
Despite his deer-in-headlights look standing next to Kanye during West's infamous "George Bush doesn't care about black people" speech, Mike Myers was cool enough to give the rapper a cameo in his floptastic The Love Guru. Since no one has actually seen the film, context is tough on this one, but the cameo involves West and Myers wearing matching Toronto Maple Leafs jerseys screaming "I love hockey." Swear. [Watch here.]