Though he’s hinted at it before, the chance of comic legend Eddie Murphy coming back to stand-up seems more possible than before.
Murphy implied that he previously had plans to execute a massive one-man show during an appearance on Kevin Hart’s SiriusXM podcast ‘Comedy Gold Minds” while promoting the film “Coming 2 America.”
Mentioning his previous tendencies to bait and switch about his onstage projects, Hart expressed apprehension about falling into the trap of getting his hopes up for a solo stage show from Murphy.
“Eddie, I don’t like talking to you about stand-up no more. I’m not fallin’ for the f—-n’ trap. I’m sick of you, I’m sick of your s–t. … Every time we talk, he leaves me with a piece of information, and I feel like I got gold.”
Murphy revealed that he had an entire blueprint of events that were intended to lead to a new live special.
“My plan was to do ‘Dolemite,’ ‘Saturday Night Live,’ ‘Coming 2 America,’ and then do stand-up. And then the pandemic hit, and it shut the whole s–t down. Then I was going — the whole time last year I would have been out working on my act trying to get my s–t right, and then the whole thing shut down. Hey, when the pandemic is over and it’s safe for everybody to go out and do it, then the plan is to do it.”
Indeed, last July TMZ reported that Murphy was in talks with Netflix for an undisclosed number of comedy specials, and that negotiations were nearing $70 million for the deal.
In a 2011 interview with Rolling Stone, Murphy said that whenever he decided to get back in front of the audience it would have to be with great show.
“If I ever get back onstage, I’m going to have a really great show for you all — an hour and a half of stand-up and about 40 minutes of my s—-y band. But I don’t know. The way that used to come about, you’d be around the house, hanging out, say something funny and it’d be like, ‘I’m going to go to the club, try that out tonight.’”
“That still happens, but it’s been a long time. I’m not that guy in the leather suit anymore. The hardest thing for comics nowadays is to find your f—–g voice.”
When asked why he walked away, Murphy simply answered, “It stopped being fun. In the beginning, it was fun, then I was controversial. Whenever I would do anything, there would be picketing, negative backlash. I thought I should just do movies. I don’t have to deal with this s–t. Big chunks of time went by, and before you knew it it had been a hundred years since I had done it.”
The Beverly Hills Cop actor noted that current cultural standards played a big factor in his apprehension about returning to the stage. Much of the commentary from his iconic “Raw” stand-up, outrageous back in the ’80s, would be deemed unacceptable now.
“A lot of the stuff you just don’t do now. Nowadays, comics say something that’s offensive and they have got to apologize to everybody. How do you even write an act and go into a club when everybody has their cameras, it’s on YouTube, if you say something offensive, you’ve got to apologize to everyone? How do you come up with anything?”
Even though it was concern back then, by 2019 he told The New York Times about joke controversy, “I went through all that stuff, so this is not scary.” He indicated that he was picketed before and had also apologized for material about AIDS that he now refers to as “ignorant.”
Ultimately, he told the Times that he regretted giving up stand-up and that once he returns, “he will never abandon it again.”
In meantime, Murphy will have no shortage of material. He admitted that he had been tape recording his ideas from the last three years, and implied parenthood (Murphy is a father of 10) would make up the bulk of the new commentary.
“I now have a whole lifetime of experiences to draw upon. There was a time when I was at the center of everything, what I was doing, and how funny I was and how popular,” he said. “I’m not at the center. Now my kids are and everything revolves around them.”