Friday, June 9, 2017

The REAL Meaning Of The Saying "Comey Don't Play That" (with source information & examples)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides a definition and examples of the saying "Comey don't play that".

The content of this post is presented for linguistic, cultural, and political purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.
Click for the related pancocojams post ""Homey Don't Play That" - In Living Color 's Homey D. Clown's Birthday Party Comedy Sketch".

"[Person's name] don't play that" is a statement that is made regarding a suggested action or idea which is rejected because acting that way would be contrary to or beneath that person's values, lifestyle, image, and/or dignity.
Hat tip to this urban dictionary poster for this definition of which helped me conceptualize what "[person's name] don't play means:
"homey don't play that

A disagreement or protest to a suggested idea or action.
Carlton said, "Let's watch American Idol!", and Will was like, "Homey don't play that."
by colin April 05, 2005

"Comey don't play" is an adapted form of the 1990 saying "Homey don't play that".

"Homey don't play that" (also given as "Homey don't play dat") is the signature saying for "Homey D. Clown", a recurring character on the 1990s African American sketch comedy television series In Living Color. Homey D. Clown frequently said "Homey don't play that" when asked to do something that he considered beneath his dignity or his lifestyle.

In contrast to Homey D. Clown, other people and not James Comey himself have used the saying "Comey don't play that" as the titles of news articles and videos or within news articles and videos among other usages). The saying "Comey don't play that" appears to usually reflect the perception that James Comey has refused or is refusing to do something that is against his principles (values). As such, "Comey don't play that" is a usually complimentary statement about former acting Attorney General and now former FBI Director James Comey.

It's my sense that "Comey don't play that" did not originally mean “[James] Comey isn't playing games” or "Comey is serious [about something or another.]" That said, one or both of those meanings may be simultaneous implied in early or current usages of this saying along with the original African American Vernacular English meaning of "___ don't play that" which is given above.
Information about the character "Homey D. Clown" is given in the Addendum below.

The sayings "Homey don't play that" (also given as "Homey don't play da.") and "Comey don't play that" use African American Vernacular English grammar and vernacular.

"Homey" is a form of the words "home boy" which means a male from your neighborhood or, by extension, a male from your city, state, or nation. "Homey" could also be used for females (i.e. "home girl"), although it appears to me that this feminine usage was/is much less frequently found than the masculine usage.

The word "don't" is used in these African American Vernacular English constructed sentences instead of the standard American English word "doesn't".

In the context of both the sayings "Homey don't play that" and "Comey don't play that" the word "play" simply means "to do" [something]".

Here's an urban entry that gives this definition of "play" [Note that this urban dictionary definition is one of many other vernacular meanings for "play", and some of them may not be suitable for

doin it
we playin
by true playa April 24, 2003"

Therefore, "Homey don't play" means that "Homey doesn't do [something specific.]" or "Homey won't do [something specific]". When the person himself (or herself) says those words, he (or she) means "I won't do that [thing that is specified]."

Another African American Vernacular English ways of saying "I don't play that" is "I'm not down with that". "I'm not down with that" later was shortened to "I'm not with that".

May 17, 2017 - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart episode (Season 12, Episode 0).

Here's my partial transcription of a video of this episode

[portion 1:52 to 2:53]
..."But McNulty is only one of Gonzales’ deputies that is making headlines. McNulty’s predecessor testified Tuesday at the Senate Judiciary Committee about a 2004 incident involving then White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, President Bush’s secret White House wiretap program, and John Ashcroft’s inflamed pancreas.

[audience laugh]. If that didn’t get your attention, well. [audience laughs] You’re going to love this story.

Back in 2004 the Department of Justice, headed up by acting Attorney General James Comey, loyal Republican, decided that the President’s national security domestic wiretapping program was ah….-What’s the opposite of constitutional? Um…[audience laughs] – UNCONSTITUTIONAL! And Comey would not renew the program.

But the President no likey that. [audience laughs]

Now Comey was sitting in for the acting attorney general John Ashcroft because Ashcroft was uh- What’s the word for “nearly comatose?” NEARLY COMATOSE [audience laughs] in the hospital recovering from gall bladder surgery.

What comes next will blow your mind"...

June 18, 2013 - " Comey Don’t Play That
How Obama's pick to lead the FBI tried to put the brakes on the NSA's surveillance dragnet." BY MARC AMBINDER

September 1, 2015 -
"Comey Don't Play That T-shirt
Funny James Comey T Shirt- Comey Don't Play That T-shirt


Date first available at September 1, 2015"

May 30, 2017 -
"Comey Don't Play That
Defiant Brewing Co.
Pale Ale - American"
I think that this is a "made up" name of beer.

June 8, 2017 - various news articles about former FBI Director James Comey's testimony under oath at the televised open hearing of the United States Senate Intelligence Committee

There are multiple examples of online news articles with the title "Comey Don't Play That", including this article:

From "‘Comey Don’t Play That!’ Van Jones Says Comey Is ‘Basically Running D.C.’ Now" by Justin Baragona | 10:49 pm, June 8th, 2017 [excerpt]
"I am truly shocked that this phrase hadn’t gotten any play before tonight.

While discussing today’s much-hyped Senate testimony by former FBI Director James Comey, CNN political commentator Van Jones explained that since Comey is no longer the head of the FBI, he now can go right after President Donald Trump. And, thus, he is no longer playing.

“The big story here is that Trump is [sic] completely lost control of this town and of the narrative,” Jones stated. “And the guy he thought he had swiped off the board is basically running D.C.!”

He continued, “Basically Comey is saying, ‘Comey don’t play that. Comey don’t play that! I’m not even the FBI director!'”...
There's also at least one YouTube video with that title of a portion of that Senate hearing.

Comey don't play that.

Adam Longo Published on Jun 8, 2017
Please add any pre-2017 examples of the saying "Comey Don't Play That" in the comment section below. Thanks!

"In Living Color is an American sketch comedy television series that originally ran on Fox from April 15, 1990,[1] to May 19, 1994. Brothers Keenen and Damon Wayans created, wrote and starred in the program. The show was produced by Ivory Way Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television and was taped at stage 7 at the Fox Television Center on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. The title of the series was inspired by the NBC announcement of broadcasts being presented "in living color" during the 1960s, prior to mainstream color television. It also refers to the fact that most of the show's cast were black, unlike other sketch comedy shows such as Saturday Night Live whose casts are mostly white. It was controversial due to the Wayans' decision to portray African-American humor from the ghetto in a time when mainstream American tastes regarding black comedy had been set by more upscale shows such as The Cosby Show, causing an eventual feud for control between Fox executives and the Wayans."...

"Homey D. Clown – Damon Wayans plays an ex-con who works as a clown (real name Herman Simpson) for his parole agreement, but lashes out at anyone (usually by hitting them on the head with a sock full of pennies) who attempts to make him perform the standard antics of the role - "I don't think so! Homey don't play that!". His goal in life is to get even with "The Man", a personification of the white males who are "holding him down". Near the end of most sketches, Homey would lead a group of children (played by the cast members) in a call and response sing-along, which would end with him degenerating into a rant, then intimidating the children into repeating after him. Homey was also the first, and only, In Living Color character to get his own video game.[2]"
The letter "D" in the name "Homey D Clown" stands for "da" = "the".

In Living Color's Homey D. Clown character served as the inspiration for the name of The Simpsons character Krusty The Clown.
" "Homie the Clown" is the fifteenth episode of The Simpsons' sixth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 12, 1995. In the episode, Homer becomes a Krusty the Clown impersonator, but is mistaken for the real Krusty by the Springfield Mafia. Joe Mantegna returned as Fat Tony, while Dick Cavett and Johnny Unitas guest starred as themselves.


Cultural references
The episode's title is reference to the character Homey D. Clown from the sketch comedy show In Living Color.”...

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