Amidst his latest Netflix special deal (reportedly worth $70 million), the upcoming film releases ‘Dolemite Is My Name’ (October 25, 2019), ‘Coming 2 America’ (August 7, 2020) as well as plans to host SNL this December, Eddie Murphy announced intentions to launch his next standup comedy tour.
Last month, Murphy joined host, Krista Smith for the Netflix podcast, ‘Present Company’ to discuss his next moves. The pair dish on everything from his road to standup, inspiration behind monumental film roles and his return to the spotlight after so many years.
When asked about his upcoming projects, Murphy says, ‘I’m getting ready to start Coming 2 America (2020). I was like, let me go do some things that they [the fans] want to see. I haven’t been back to SNL in 35 years, so I think I’m gonna go host Saturday Night Live this year. Then next year, I’m gonna tour, do some standup.’
On his iconic impact, Murphy states, ‘I never felt like I was forging a path, I felt like I was being who I was and whatever came my way, I adapted to it. When I was in the middle of it, I didn’t feel like I was opening any door or I was being groundbreaking or anything – it’s when you look back years afterwards and you’re like, ‘Wow’. Same with standup, when I started doing standup comedy, there were like 10 black comics in the whole country. There might have been 40 comics [overall] when I first started doing standup. After my success in standup, it stopped being this ‘fringe’ thing, it became more mainstream. Now standup comics can go sell out The Garden (MSG); guys that never had a TV show or have never been in a movie. That whole thing started after my standup stuff. With movies, it was this big ocean of black talent; that all started after my stuff. Looking back on it, I see it, but when I was in the middle of it, you’re just trying to be funny.’
When asked about the biggest takeaway from his upcoming film, ’Dolemite Is My Name’ (2019) –
‘I think it’s a really inspirational story about believing in yourself and seeing your dream; going for your dreams. Usually when a person is going for their dream, they have incredible talent. He (Rudy Ray Moore) is not Richard Pryor; he’s not the most brilliant one, he just believes in himself. He’s the loser who would not lose; he refused to lose. Because of how much he believes in it, he sells it to you. It’s this great story that if you believe in yourself, that’s the most important ingredient when you’re talking about doing anything. If you could see it, you don’t have to be the best, you don’t have to be a genius, you don’t have to be incredible; you just have to believe in it, no matter what it is. That’s a great universal story. It’s inspirational; it’s all of those things, but more than anything, it’s really, really funny.’
With almost 30 years having passed since his last time on center stage, Murphy addresses his perspective on his return to standup, ‘When I think about doing standup, this is the perfect analogy: when you go to the pool and you ask if the water is cold and someone goes, ‘Oh it’s freezing!’ And you go, ‘That water is fucking cold’. That’s how I feel with standup. It’s like, it’s gonna be freezing when I first get in, but then it’s that feeling just before you jump in the pool; not nervous or scared, just, ‘I know the water is cold.’ You get used to it once you get in.’
Murphy concludes the interview with a reflection of what his life as a comedian means to him, ‘I don’t think there’s any higher calling for an artist. There’s nothing that could be compared to making people laugh. I’ll take laughter over any type of entertainment. To have that, that’s like a precious gift.’
Fans everywhere wait in anticipation to witness their favorite comedic icon’s return to comedy; both in film and standup. Stay tuned for more exlusive news + updates!
To Listen To The Full Interview, Click Here.