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‘Eddie Is the Reason Why I Do Comedy’: Martin Lawrence on His Return to Stand-Up and How Eddie Murphy’s ‘Rockstar’ Status Influenced His Career

Martin Lawrence has two comedy GOATS: Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy. The latter is someone he has worked with time and time again, dating back to 1992 when they teamed up with other notable acts for “Boomerang.”

In an interview, last month with ABC News, Lawrence, 57, talked about the influence both men have had on his career while focusing specifically on Murphy’s impact.

Describing his “Life” co-star, he said that Murphy, 61, was “very focused, very serious, he don’t play around.” 

Martin Lawrence. (Photo: @martinlawrence/Instagram.)

Lawrence went on to say that the “Coming to America” star is one of the industry’s top professionals to work with and someone who inspired him to get into comedy.

“Eddie is the reason, along with Richard Pryor, is the reason I do comedy, those two,” he said. “Eddie took it to rock star status. I was like, ‘Wow. I never seen that.’ And I said, ‘Wow, that’s my man, Eddie Murphy.” 

He further explained that Pryor was a GOAT of comedy for his truth and his utilization of characters in his standup. He said Murphy “made it look good” with his style, original material, and overall standup superstar status.

Similarly to the latter, it has been years since the “Martin” show creator has hit the stage for a comedy special of his own.

In a past interview, Murphy revealed that he planned to hit the road, testing out new material after the release of “Coming 2 America,” but the COVID-19 pandemic derailed his plans. However, in January, after being awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes, he told “Entertainment Tonight” that he still plans to hit the comedy circuit. 

Lawrence, like most comedians, said he misses the stage when he is away, but he is in no rush to return.

“I let everybody do their thing — Dave [Chapelle] and Chris [Rock] — everybody doing their thing. I love it and you know I just wait for my time. I don’t really worry about what everybody else is doing. I just wait to see when God lets me know it’s time for me to go back out and bring some laughter to the world.”

When asked if there were any subjects he was interested in tackling in a new standup routine, the “Blue Streak” actor said he would have to be smart about it. “‘Cause we are in a sensitive time of people are more sensitive, things like that,” said Lawrence.

Fellow comedians such as Chappelle, Rock, and Kevin Hart have all found themselves receiving pushback for some of their jokes that communities, such as the LGBTQ+, have found offensive. But, Lawrence is not concerned with any of that. 

“I’m not going to change who I am and the way I do things, but I am going to respect the fact that people do have feelings,” he noted.

“If I can do something a different way and get the same effect that doesn’t hurt, then I can do it that way. That’s what I’ve come to learn. When I was young I would just go for it, I just did it my way, but as I got older I learned to respect it a little more,” he said.

Lawrence’s last comedy special, “Martin Lawrence: Doin’ Time: Uncut,” was released in 2016. Since then, he has filmed three movies, and recently began production on the fourth installment of the “Bad Boys” franchise with Will Smith.

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