Comedy

Don’t Call It A Comeback: Eddie Murphy’s Return

In a recent episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfield, behind the wheel of a 2004 Porsche Carerra GT, scooped up his legendary colleague, Eddie Murphy.  They both bonded over being loners, completing their first impromptu performances on buses as kids and growing up personally and professionally in the Big Apple.  As the two reminisced, comparing and contrasting the old days to the present day, Eddie confesses, “doing nothing is my favorite dish.” The iconic funnyman prefers spending the majority of his time with his family; which can explain his sporadic presence in Hollywood the last few decades.  However, with two known comedic projects in the works, it appears that Eddie is plotting his grand return.  

Currently, in post-production, Dolemite is My Name (2019) features Eddie as Rudy Ray Moore, the raunchy comedian best known for his role as Dolemite.  The film boasts an eclectic intergenerational mix of actors and comedians including Mike Epps, Tituss Burgess, Wesley Snipes, Chris Rock, Craig Robinson, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and Keegan-Michael Key.  Dolemite is My Name follows Rudy Ray Moore as he writes, fundraises and films what would become a blaxploitation classic.  It is the divine combination of cast and content, that makes this upcoming flick ripe for deep belly laughter.  Eddie is even reprising his role as Prince Akeem in Coming to America 2 where he returns to the United States to find his long-lost son, the heir to the throne of Zamunda.  Arsenio Hall has agreed to return as Akeem’s friend and royal right-hand, Semmi. They are still working to get John Amos and James Earl Jones to reprise their roles from the 1988 hit comedy. 

None of his upcoming projects are mentioned over his coffee with Seinfeld, well, because Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is not that kinda show.  It’s all about the craft, opening up, self-reflection, and the love of stand up.  As they cruise along the streets of Los Angeles, Seinfield informs Eddie, “You know, that you not doing stand up drives people crazy?”  Eddie then confides, “I’m gonna do it again…everything just has to be right. I have to go to the clubs and work out.” Eddie’s reveal makes the alleged Netflix deal feel less like hearsay and more like a blissful, soon-to-come reality.  It has been rumored Netflix has offered Eddie an alleged $70 million dollars to return to the stand-up stage after an almost 30-year hiatus. With a number of self-sidelined comedians stepping into the spotlight, revealing new styles and new ways of thinking (e.g Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle), I can only imagine what the 2019 stand-up Eddie might look and sound like.  

SIDEBAR: Eddie’s brand of comedy was actually a current concern for TV personality, Andy Cohen.  The Watch What Happens Live host questioned Tituss Burgess on his working relationship with Eddie, citing the stand-up comedian as “very problematic for the gays” several decades ago.  Watch the video below to see Tituss’s appropriately shady response to the white host’s messy question. 

After assuring Jerry of his eventual return to the stage, the two talk shop, with Eddie leveling, “The hardest thing about getting back on stage is when you don’t have anything…That’s like a scary thought.” With decades spent raising children, forming relationships with other celebrities, living life as a black man, and his overall ability “to see the joke in everything, I am certain Eddie has a lot to say that is worth hearing and laughing about.

MJ VanDevere

MJ VanDevere is a doctoral candidate at a predominately white elite institution in the South who uses humor to combat racism, sexism, and all the other –isms that seek to diminish her greatness. She is a self-proclaimed “stand-up snob” who does not have a favorite comedian, so please don't ask unless you have several hours to spare. Some of her favorite movies include, Life, Dead Presidents, and Happy Feet. If, she could only do one thing for the rest of her life, it would definitely be laugh, and maybe write. Adulting is her greatest work in progress.

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