Back in 2008, Kanye West tried his hands at acting in a comedy but the project never saw the light of the day. Just recently, people began noticing that test footage from the failed HBO pilot landed online through actress Alison Quinn's YouTube account.
The clip has been removed due to copyright right claims from HBO, but a shorter version of it is still available. In it, West appears as himself and meets a boy as part of a Make-a-Wish charity visit. The scene pokes fun at his fame as the boy isn't enthusiastic to meet him and names other rappers as his favorites.
Many call his performance "awkward" and "woeful," but Quinn doesn't agree. "I thought he was a good improviser," she praises West. She goes on telling MTV, "I was impressed. Sometimes if people don't have a lot of improv experience, if they can't tell what direction something is going in, they just sort of give up. And he didn't."
"He kept tightening the scene as opposed to giving up on it. He was a good listener and generous in that sometimes improvisers will just want to make it about what they're saying, so they're not really listening."
The project was intended to be a single camera show in the style of Larry David's "Curb Your Enthusiasm", with "Curb" writer and producer Larry Charles attached to it. Charles said several years ago that the unnamed pilot was "really good" but "too hard-core for HBO."
Quinn didn't think the reel would've drawn people's attention as she says, "I didn't think it was that big of a deal. My manager had wanted to put it up, because it didn't air, so that they could send a link to the casting directors. I didn't really think anyone would ever see it."