Eddie Murphy Is Contemplating a Return to Stand-Up

One of several tantalizing possibilities mentioned in a new Washington Post profile.

A number of media folks are zeroing in on one particular tidbit in Geoff Edgersfantastic profile of Eddie Murphy for the Washington Post. The part about the actor possibly playing Marion Barry in an HBO movie directed by Spike Lee.


While that is certainly tantalizing, the project by all indications is not a sure thing. A little further down in the interview piece, Murphy unleashes the real corker. He tells Edgers he’s been thinking about possibly returning to the stand-up stage:

He last told jokes to a live audience in 1987.

Back then, he was a kid, wary of women, suited in purple leather, the anti-Dr. Doolittle, so profane that his 1987 concert film, Raw, held the record for most uses of the “F” word in a feature: 223. The kid is 54 now. What would that sound like?

“That’s the carrot,” Murphy says. “Every now and then when I think about it, I think, ‘What would I even talk about onstage?’ It’s never been, ‘I wonder if I’m funny. I wonder if I can come up with jokes.’ It’s more, ‘What would it be like without the leather suit and the anger?’ ”

By sheer coincidence, the first-ever Dubai Comedy Festival kicks off Oct. 15 in the Emirates, with Trevor Noah, Hannibal Buress, Dave Chappelle amd Jerrod Carmichael all set to mix it up with a lively line-up of Middle Eastern comics. Maybe it’s not too late for Murphy to hop on the private jet and test out this whole idea.

National arts reporter Edgers will likely place this interview experience at the very top of his career list. He writes that during the Hollywood Hills conversation, Murphy did knock-down impressions of everyone from Quentin Tarantino to Sidney Poitier.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Writer Gives Thanks for Eddie Murphy, Bruce Beresford

[H/T: Marty Chase]

@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.