Throughout the 80s, Eddie Murphy changed the landscape of stand-up comedy by dropping two seminal specials: Delirious (1983) and Raw (1987).
Clad in a red and then purple leather jumpsuit, the Saturday Night Live (SNL) alum effectively achieved what Richard Pryor had with the previous generation, taking the proverbial torch in hand, and eventually inspiring an equally-legendary cohort comprised of A-list names such as Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock.
Now, Eddie Murphy is eying a return to the world of stand-up comedy and sold-out stadium shows.
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Prior to 2023, there’d been chatter about this specific possibility, with Murphy himself having hinted at the existence of “two to three hours” of unfiltered material in his phone memos. During a recent press run to promote Netflix’s You People in which he co-stars alongside Jonah Hill, however, the Hollywood megastar clarified what we can expect and when we can realistically expect it.
“I do want to do stand-up again. A lot of the stuff that was in my phone… it’s a whole different world since the pandemic and we got a new president, it’s just a different world. So it was a lot of stuff that was in my phone, that it’s old stuff now,” Eddie Murphy explained to Complex.
“So the plan is, I’m doing a movie now. And there are two other films** that I’m supposed to do. Then I’m going to try to get some new material in and see if I could still do stand-up.”
**According to IMDb, the three films in question are Beverly Hills Cop 4, Candy Cane Lane, and Triplets – the sequel to Twins with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito (yes really) – which should keep the man busy until late 2023/early 2024.
Murphy added: “But my show won’t just be a stand-up show; my show will be music and stand-up. Because I can’t just get on the stage and just do jokes because I have all this other stuff now. I’m thinking about how to put together a live show that has everything.”
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By all accounts, it sounds like we’re on track for a variety format similar to Adam Sandler’s own comeback special 100% Fresh.
The mention of music isn’t entirely surprising considering his hit 1985 single ‘Party All The Time’ (see: below), which was written and produced by fellow 80s icon Rick James. The banger peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and perfectly encapsulated the ethos of an entire cocaine-fuelled era.
Eddie Murphy has also received critical acclaim for his performance as the fictitious R&B singer Jimmy Early in Bill Condon’s Dreamgirls circa 2006. Murphy was part of a stacked cast comprised of other multi-hyphenates such as Jennifer Hudson, Beyonce, and Jamie Foxx.
Stay tuned for updates on this one.