What the Hell Happened to Eddie Murphy?

eddie murphy

Eddie Murphy

By this point in the “What the Hell Happened?” series, a pattern has developed.  The career usually begins with TV roles or modeling gigs.  Then a big break, super stardom and a stint on the A-list.

Sometimes the celebrity rides on the top of the a-list for years.  Other times, they come crashing down relatively quickly.  Eventually, their time in the spotlight ends.  Sometimes they flame out in a spectacularly public fashion.  Other times, they just walk away.

Eddie Murphy’s story breaks from the formula.  Sure, there is a rise and fall.  But in Murphy’s case, there’s not just one.

Murphy rose to superstardom, slipped into irrelevance, reinvented himself as a family friendly leading man, had a scandal, dropped into obscurity, and then threatened to stage a come back multiple times without ever actually coming back.

Murphy - SNL

Eddie Murphy – Saturday Night Live – 1980 – 1984

Murphy started performing as a stand-up comedian as a teenager.  In 1980, at the age of 19, Murphy joined the cast of Saturday Night Live.  At the time, he was the youngest cast member in the history of the show.

In the early 80s, SNL was in its first real slump.  It was actually facing the possibility of cancellation.  Murphy and co-star Joe Piscopo were the sole stand-outs of the cast and arguably saved the show.  Murphy became the show’s clear star with characters like Buckwheat, Gumby and Mr. Robinson.  He also did a killer Stevie Wonder impression.

Murphy also has the distinction of being the only cast member to host the show while he was still a regular cast member.  Murphy remained on SNL until 1984.  Once he left, he would not return for over three decades.  According to Murphy:

“They were shitty to me on Saturday Night Live a couple of times after I’d left the show. They said some shitty things. There was that David Spade sketch [when Spade showed a picture of Murphy around the time of Vampire in Brooklyn and said, “Look, children, a falling star”]. I made a stink about it, it became part of the folklore. What really irritated me about it at the time was that it was a career shot. It was like, “Hey, come on, man, it’s one thing for you guys to do a joke about some movie of mine, but my career? I’m one of you guys. How many people have come off this show whose careers really are fucked up, and you guys are shitting on me?” And you know every joke has to go through all the producers, and ultimately, you know Lorne or whoever says, [Lorne Michaels voice] “OK, it’s OK to make this career crack…”

Eddie Murphy - 48 Hours - 1982

Eddie Murphy – 48 Hours – 1982

While Murphy was still on SNL, he made his feature film debut in 1982’s 48 Hours.

I don’t think the impact of 48 Hours can be over-stated.  It wasn’t just a smash hit.  It practically invented a genre that would dominate the film landscape for the next decade.  The buddy cop movie began with Nolte and Murphy in 48 Hours.

Murphy commented on why the movie – in which Nolte’s character says some very politically incorrect racial slurs – worked:

You know why it worked then and the reason why it wouldn’t now? My significance in film – and again I’m not going to be delusional – was that I’m the first black actor to take charge in a white world onscreen. That’s why I became as popular as I became. People had never seen that before. Black-exploitation movies, even if you dealt with the Man, it was in your neighborhood, never in their world. In 48 Hours, that’s why it worked, because I’m running it, making the story go forward. If I was just chained to the steering wheel sitting there being called “watermelon,” even back then they would have been like, “This is wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong!”

Nolte was supposed to host SNL when the movie opened.  But he partied a little too hard and had to cancel.  Instead, Murphy – still a cast member on the show – took over the hosting duties.

Murphy was already a star thanks to SNL.  But 48 Hours made him a movie star.  Murphy was nominated for a Golden Globe for New Star of the Year.  He lost to Ben Kingsley for Ghandi.

murphy - trading places

Eddie Murphy – Trading Places – 1983

The following year, Murphy teamed with SNL alumn Dan Aykroyd in Trading Places.

Murphy played a poor conman who trades places with a rich Wall Street trader played by Aykroyd.  Jamie Lee Curtis played a hooker with a heart of gold who helps Aykroyd deal with his new status quo.

Trading Places was directed by John Landis who would work with Murphy two more times.  The rich man/poor man comedy was an even greater hit than 48 Hours.  Murphy was nominated for another Golden Globe.

Eddie Murphy - Delirious - 1983

Eddie Murphy – Delirious – 1983

Murphy was 2 for 2 in Hollywood and was still a star on TV.  He was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical for Trading Places.  Plus he had a hit stand-up comedy special in Eddie Murphy: Delirious that same year.

Murphy’s career was hot.  He wasn’t just a rising star.  He was shooting straight to the top.

Next: Beverly Hills Cop and The Golden Child


Posted on January 31, 2012, in Movies, Saturday Night Live, TV, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actor and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 432 Comments.

  1. What Happens When Once-Beloved Comedy Fails the Test of Time?

    Perhaps the most troublesome example of beloved comedy that doesn’t quite hold up these days is that of Eddie Murphy. Delirious and Raw are two of the most important standup specials of the 80s, perhaps even of all-time, and with good reason. Murphy is a manic ball of energy on stage, going through hilarious bit after hilarious bit without any sign of slowing down. And yet, we also have to deal with the homophobia that was rampant in both specials. It would be one thing it had merely been casual use of the f-word; that could likely be written off as “well, that word was more acceptable then,” but what makes it so hard to take now is the genuine homophobia within the bits. It wasn’t just the word, it was the sentiment. When Murphy talks about unwanted attention of gay men, he plays into the biggest driving factor behind homophobia — the idea that homosexuality is a clear and present threat to masculinity.



    A Florida con man uses the passing of the long time Congressman from his district who he just happens to share a name with, to get elected to his version of paradise, Congress, where the money flows from lobbyists. But soon he learns the nature of the game and decides to fight back the only way he knows how, with a con.

    This was the first time Eddie Murphy appeared in a film that was not distributed by Paramount Pictures.

    The film has the interesting premise of having a con-man going into politics and find it even more corrupt then he could even imagine and everything is going fine until he decides to grow a conscious. Which is helped along due to a romantic interest.

    The film is basically built around the humor and charisma of the star Eddie Murphy. As it seems the movie is more Mr. Murphy goes to Washington.

    The film seems strangely clean material wise there is strong language here and there but for the most part the film could play as a family film for older kids. At least probably compared to what is out there today. Even though even kids might be a bit bored by this film which has more dialogue then slapstick scenes.

    The problem is that the cast around him fills out the necessary one dimensional roles. There is a cameo by James Garner in the early scenes that seemed to give the film more of a prestige. Della Reese only seems here to remind people of the animosity she and Eddie Murphy had in scenes in HARLEM NIGHTS. As they have a similar but less vicious one here. She only is around for a handful of scenes.

    The rest fill out their roles but are given barely any material to work with. So they just stand around and deliver what is required without making any mark.

    This film finds Mr. Murphy more at a crossroads as he is still a movie star but starting to drop as his films aren’t a guaranteed hit. This was right before he decided to do more kids films. So while this film isn’t a hard R. It isn’t the classic Eddie Murphy either. Here he is more starting to lighten up. We can say that he can only be as good as the material.

    The film is a film of it’s time which is a Nice way to say dated. The films strives to be a crossover film. Meant to unite audiences of all races. Even through part of the premise is this more urban street smart guy making the rounds through the privileged white collar but even dirtier Streets of the politics of Washington D.C. The only Sly eye the film brings about is the ridiculousness of politics and the passing of laws through bribery which we had all know. But this was the first film that was designed as a blockbuster to expose it on the big screen. Not that it goes after the subject with a vengeance but suggests it. Which when it came out and me being so young really opened my eyes.

    I remember seeing this film in theaters when I was a teenager and really being at my own crossroads as it was the first time I realized Eddie Murphy wasn’t magical. I really was excited to see the film. But as I sat through it by the end I told myself I liked it but there were so many moments of disappointment. When I watched it again on horn video a few months later I realized that I didn’t really enjoy it and having watched it recently I can really see why the film is so disappointing.

    I have gone on record as a huge Eddie Murphy fan and while the film gives him plenty of ammo to work with. The film just doesn’t seem worthwhile in the end. Even though this seems the closest character to his personality all smiles, little jokes here and there and Provocative colorful suits. The entourage. His seemingly real reactions and over sharing in some situations.

    There are some laughs but most of the humor is television level and the jokes a lot of times that might have been timely back then. Just seem to sit there watching it now.

    Part of the humor and fascination of the film is the idea of a African-American in the white world of politics back ground successful and keeping his morals to a degree. One last home even suggests his character running for president. Which at the time seemed an impossibility that became a reality only a couple of decades later.

    In the end there is just no effort put forth to make the film feel and kind of inspiration. The film plays routine and measured. So that whole Eddie Murphy is supposed to be the wild card he ends up fitting In Way too easily. As he was supposed to make the film more entertaining through personality, but there are limits to what he can do or really if he wants to.

    He seems more scripted then usual as the films comedy comes off more lean with all the delicious fat trimmed off. Which might be more healthy but not as tasty or memorable.

    This political comedy film is directed by Jonathan Lynn, who previously was a co-creator and co-writer of the British political comedy series YES MINISTER, and its’ sequel, YES, PRIME MINISTER.

    The film ends up being serviceable but not as juicy as you would like. To general Audiences and staying focused purely On the story then any asides it even character development. The film feels too straight laced.

    Though if that is what you are looking for, more a safe Eddie Murphy comedy this is one for you (Though seems sort of almost blasphemous)

    GRADE: D


    • HARLEM NIGHTS (1989)

      The film isn’t as bad as some have made it out to be. It’s not perfect but looking back. It’s still better then some of Eddie Murphy’s later films. As at least this film has moments of comedy.

      The film isn’t a total disaster. It’s just not that good. It has a few laughs and is very inspired, but the film shows a half hearted effort by all. As it’s obvious Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx are both in Ill health and have very little energy to give. Which is rare for them both, but Eddie Murphy as writer-Director and star is so unfocused that even he seems distracted when it comes to storytelling. Instead of focusing on the story he chooses scenes that are supposed to show character development but more are comedic set-up’s that really lead nowhere. So that when there are dialogue scenes they come off as just releasing more story and plot.

      So then with this excellent powerhouse cast this should be a dream project made in heaven and it seems like he was hoping that the cast would smooth out any of the problems with improv. Though it seems most of them suck to the script and the film is stuck.

      This is one of those films where it was probably more interesting behind the scenes or just being on the set rather than what is shown on screen. Speaking of which all the locations look like set’s. Which helps the ambiance of seeming more like a 1930’s film. Rather than the 1930’s in general.

      One can see why Eddie Murphy choose the time period as a theme, but it is also a bit puzzling. So that maybe if the film had a more competent and focused director. Something could have been made out of this that was more respectable and decent. He wanted to star in a period piece and decided to write one himself. Though he would later admit that he didn’t pay enough attention to his directorial duties as he was more focused on activities other then the film, While it was in production

      As the film tries to be a comedic caper film ala THE STING, but never hits as hard or endears itself as various characters are disposable and dispatched with nary a thought. So that you wonder what was the whole point of them. So while there is violence quite a bit. There never seems to be any real danger or threat.

      The story of white mobster Bugsy Calhoune trying to take over Sugar Ray’s night club in order to control black Harlem is loosely inspired by the real feud between white gangster Dutch Schultz and his war with black gangster Bumpy Johnson over control of Harlem’s lucrative “numbers” gambling rackets in the mid 1930’s. Which was eventually made into the film HOODLUM

      The film works as an Eddie Murphy comedy and a tribute to the comedians who inspired him And we’re influential heroes to him. Though unfortunately he gives them an opportunity when they didn’t quite have the strength and magic they once did.

      The film is certainly one of his more adult humored films. Though still not the best and barely average. As the film can be hilarious but is also spotty leaving those moments to be few and far in between. As when it is bad it is awkward but only good when it is hilarious.

      Certain scenes are funny but they are disjointed. So that when they appear you know they are coming. as it is the few times when the film decides to stop moving it’s story forward and either showcase a character or certain situation. Such as Della Reese and Eddie Murphy fighting which has nothing to do with the plot but is a funny aside. Other than that scenes that are set-up to be funny or Have quick little jokes fall flat and seem out of character. Also as it happens some those with the star being the director and the writer. He makes his character so unstoppable and such the best at everything. You don’t feel that his character really changes or learns anything.

      If anything part of the films legacy is that inspired by Della Reese and Redd Foxx’s characters bickering. Two years later they starred on a sitcom together that lasted two seasons unfortunately it ended after Foxx’s death during the second season

      Arsenio Hall in his one scene steals the movie. As does Della Reese. With her you don’t expect her could moved character to be so fun. Though she has played the cleaner version of this type of character many times since.

      The other actors in the film are effective and though sometimes funny they all stay within character more dramatically and are more funny I t heir reactions to situations as none of them really act silly or too stupid. So Michael Lerner and Danny Aiello are quite good and menacing in their roles as the villains. Both coming off best supporting actor nominations also so their careers were white hot at the time. So obviously looking at who was already starring in it was a no brainer. That didn’t wuote world for them career wise as hey might have hoped but both have nothing to be ashamed of performance wise in this film.

      I remember being excited to see Jasmine guy in this movie. As she was popular on the television show A DIFFERENT WORLD and his was her big movie role and playing a femme fatale. Then being disappointed as her role was of a love interest but plays more like an extended cameo.

      This film seemed to signal the beginning of the end of Eddie Murphy’s golden period. Where he was a major movie star with mostly successful films financially and audience wise.

      This film showed he had flaws and that he wasn’t invincible as well as truly showing his ego run amuck of sorts. He film almost feels like an afront to fans showing he didn’t care about them as long as he got to have fun and have his comedic influences around him and all of them get paid for it. That was all that mattered

      The film does have nice costumes and production design that is on point and I know when you start noticing and praising those things. It can be the kiss of death for a film. As you had enough time to pay attention and seems to be the nicest thing one might say about a film. That usually means the rest is pretty bad. You might find yourself not generally caring about the plot. As it isn’t that interesting but does set up the scenes and the relationships between the characters. If you are a Eddie Murphy fan this will test your allegiance as you will either give him a pass or see where it started to all go wrong. Though despite the many disappointments in cinema he has attributed to. I am still for one a big fan and still think him to be one of the funniest people alive currently and still working.

      Grade: C


  3. I think Eddie Murphy’s career is pretty tragic. I really loved him in “Dreamgirls” and I agree, you could really see that this was a project he was passionate about. I dream of an alternate universe where Norbit was put on the shelf for another year just to see if Eddie Murphy could have won the Oscar and if that would have taken him places.

    But who knows? Maybe he will make another comeback or just stick with voicework.


    • I still think ol’ Eddie should’ve won an Oscar in that spot, regardless of “Norbit”.


    • I think that Eddie started getting lazy around the 2000s and pretty much coasted on his past reputation. Instead of trying to make decidedly more “smart” comedies like he did during his ’80s-early ’90s peak, he cashed in quick, easy paychecks on “slapsticky”, kiddie movies, weird high concept movies (e.g, “Pluto Nash”, “A Thousand Words”, “Meet Dave”, etc.), or movies that recycled the crude “Nutty Professor” formula (e.g. “Norbit”). “Bulworth” was arguably the last true or real “smart” comedy that Eddie took part in during this time period.


    • The huge early success he had seemed to get to his head a lot, and like many actors with a huge ego he’d be quite difficult to work with on set. Wes Craven talked about how he refused to do funny stuff and all sorts of things which were in the script for “Vampire in Brooklyn”, and that movie’s biggest problem is in fact that the balance between comedy and horror doesn’t work very well. It’s uneven.

      In the 1990s, he was probably too stuck in his prime mentally, when he had a huge deal at Paramount with his Eddie Murphy Productions and could call (almost) all the shots. But a few flops will slow down your momentum and power and you either adjust to that… or you end up making stuff like “Meet Dave” and “Norbit”.

      Eddie Murphy’s downfall, I think, is having big ambitions but too big of an ego.


      • I think that after his success in the 1980’s, he wasn’t in another film that took him to the next step, or even kept him on the same level. He was kinda stuck on the success he previously created.


        • Between 1984 and 1990, Eddie Murphy was arguably the biggest box office draw in America. This is especially surprising because most of his movies, especially in retrospect, were arguably not very good.

          What made Eddie Murphy special was his brash, outspoken youthfulness. A central theme of his most successful movies was a smart, underprivileged black guy fighting the system.

          As he became a too-successful megastar, that quality disappeared along with it.


        • To follow up from what I said, perhaps Eddie went from being kind of a anti-establishment figure (what made Eddie Murphy unique during his heyday was that he was likely the first “Rock Star Comedian”) to BEING part of if not thee establishment/system (which kind of started with “Harlem Nights).


  4. Host-To-Host: A Completely Necessary Ranking Of Every Host In MTV Video Music Awards History

    Eddie Murphy

    Year Hosted: 1985

    Eddie Murphy‘s sweater deserves its own line of postage stamps. MESMERIZING! Murphy was an incredibly cool dude in 1985, yet there’s something about the cruelty of time that reveals how strange it is that there was once a broadcast where you could see if the guy from 48 Hrs. could make Sting laugh. Award shows are weird, eh? The whole affair closed with Eddie Murphy singing “Party All The Time” to Tina Turner which is a pretty cute touch. We hope the girl mentioned in “Party All The Time” got the help she needed with her crippling party addiction or at least has Andrew W.K. on speed dial. One can’t help but wonder what his performance would be like if he went all in or had a different year to work with.


  5. Would Eddie Murphy Ever Do A Superhero Movie? Here’s What He Said

    Someone needs to buy the rights to Eddie Murphy’s autobiography, because he’s been hitting his recent interviews to promote Mr. Church out of the park. The most recent piece of candor that the legendary comedian has put out into the world is an answer to an question often asked of actors doing the rounds these days: could he see himself in a super-hero film? If you were expecting a yes, be prepared to be let down in the most hysterical manner, as Murphy shot down any chance of being a legitimate superhero with his own personal superpowered humor. During an interview with Mashable, Eddie Murphy delivered a mini-monologue that basically said he feels he’s too old to play any sort of superhero.


  6. Whatever Happened to Eddie Murphy?

    Although he’s been a fixture in Hollywood since his days on Saturday Night Live in the ’80s, Eddie Murphy hasn’t really done all that much in the last handful of years. Where has he been? And what has he been up to? As it turns out, he’s been living life like the rest of us.


    • Most Comedic Actors Have a 10-Year Window of Greatness

      Eddie Murphy (1982-1988)

      Almost every year in the ’80s Eddie Murphy was pumping out something new that everyone loved.48 Hrs.

      Trading Places

      Beverly Hills Cop

      The Golden Child

      Beverly Hills Cop II

      Coming to America

      Eddie Murphy had an incredible run in the ‘80s. Almost every year he was pumping out something new that everyone loved. Then came the dark period of 1989 to 1995 when it seemed like every film he touched turned into garbage. He had a little recovery in the late ‘90s with The Nutty Professor, Dr. Doolittle, and Bowfinger. But since then it’s been mainly mediocrity interspersed with the occasional hit, like Dreamgirls.


    • The Real Reason You Don’t Hear From Eddie Murphy Anymore


      • Eddie Murphy just got older and couldn’t be a 50 year old brash edgy performer he was in his 20s. The flashes of greatness are still there when he wants to be funny, as he did a few minutes of stand-up last year at a Lifetime Achievement Award Ceremony. His two minutes of Bill Cosby showed that he still has it, and he did a killer impression of Tracey Morgan too. I think Murphy became TOO big and he knows he couldn’t sustain that type of edginess, so he started making more family type comedies like Dr. Doolittle, Nutty Professor, etc. He talked to Ellen DeGeneres about why he will never do stand-up again: He said no comedian just goes out and does a stand-up special cold turkey, as you have to work the clubs and try different jokes. The problem is he is so big now he can’t walk into a small club and just try new material, as that would be a huge story. He said going back to the clubs is like shaking the rust off when you haven’t played a sport in a while, so I don’t think he will ever come back for stand-up.


        • That’s about the size of it.


        • I can also understand why Murphy got tired of “Hey, Eddie, do that laugh” and other assorted comments. Since I’ve been subjected to the whole “Hey Lee, could you do that thing I heard about?” stuff myself, it’s irritating. I wasn’t into the Murphy laugh though, it was his manner of speaking, delivery, and sharp mind. But yeah, some people like to treat others like a carnival, and if they don’t get that one tired nugget or they get something entirely different, then just might turn on you.


  7. ‘Star Trek IV’ Writer on Eddie Murphy’s Lost Role and Film’s Rewrite Drama

    Murphy was going to play an astrophysicist at Berkeley, and the original story did not include Dr. Gillian Taylor (Catherine Hicks), the marine biologist and love interest to Kirk. Eventually the Murphy deal fell through and Gillian Taylor was worked into the script to replace him.


  8. Eddie Murphy Gets Candid In In-Depth Interview, Talks Return To Film And Stand-Up

    Via Shadow and Act:
    It’s rare these days that Eddie Murphy sits for more than a few minutes to be interviewed, so it was good to watch this almost 40-minute conversation with the actor (and musician) courtesy the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. Moderated by Stacey Wilson Hunt of New York Magazine, and happening in front of a live audience, Murphy was on hand to discuss his latest big screen project, “Mr. Church,”

    [During the interview] he [says he] is interested in getting back on the stage, but not just to do stand-up comedy. Murphy’s ambitions for a stage return will encompass more than just comedy. As he says when asked whether he’ll ever entertain doing a comedy tour again, he answers: “Yeah, I’ll entertain it. I think about it. Eventually I will. But it won’t just be stand-up. It’ll be music. It’ll be comedy. It’ll be stuff from my movies… I’ve just got to figure out a way to put a show together. Because me just coming out on stage and doing stand-up, I can’t see myself doing just that. I can see having some of that, and then doing everything else. We’ll see.”

    A big screen “comeback” might also be something [fans can] to look forward to; at least that’s what I immediately thought about when Murphy told the audience that he’d like to work with Quentin Tarantino, [Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese.]

    You can check out the FULL interview with Eddie Murphy BELOW:


    • 10 Actors Who Suffered The Most In 2016

      Eddie Murphy

      Eddie Murphy has been taking it easy the last few years, outside of voicing Donkey for a Shrek short and making a cameo in a Beverly Hills Cop TV pilot that didn’t air. He also promised his days of doing bad movies for money were over, and that he was only seeking quality projects.

      That’s why people were excited for Mr Church, which was a low budget indie movie based on a true story. It was a chance to see him stretch himself as an actor, without a fat suit or a talking animal in sight. There was even talk of an Oscar nod for his work, but alas the movie failed to impress anybody. Murphy’s performance was fine, but the film was a mawkish, lukewarm TV movie that vanished without trace in the U.S.

      Probably not the result Eddie was looking for with his first onscreen role in five years, which is why Beverly Hills Cop 4 is looking increasingly likely.


      • What Happened to Eddie Murphy – What’s He Up To Now?

        What Happened to Eddie Murphy – News and Updates

        This September, Murphy starred as the title character in the drama movie, Mr. Church. Originally premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, it revolved around the unique, and heart-warming relationship between a little girl and a talented cook. Aside from Murphy, who played the part of Mr. Henry Joseph Church, other cast members in the film included Britt Robertson, Xavier Samuel, Lucy Fry, Natascha McElhone and Christian Madsen. While the actor received praised for his performance, Mr. Church was generally met with negative reviews; it currently holds a 15% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 37/100 score on Metacritic.

        Aside from that, it has been announced that Murphy will be working on a few films in the upcoming year including Triplets, Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said? and Beverly Hills Cop 4.


        • 15 Movies That Completely Ruined Actors’ Reputations


          In the 1980s, there was no bigger comedy star than Eddie Murphy. After a hugely successful run on Saturday Night Live, the comedian put his talents to the big-screen, starring in hits like Beverley Hills Cop, 48 Hours, Coming to America, and Trading Places. His fame continued to grow in the 1990s with Doctor Dolittle and The Nutty Professor, but then it all came crashing down in 2002 with The Adventures of Pluto Nash.

          Murphy’s career was on a slippery slope in the early 2000s, and the movie that sent him plummeting to the depths below was undoubtedly Pluto Nash. With an amazingly low 5% on Rotten Tomatoes, the messy space-adventure was a critical and financial nightmare, resulting in the biggest financial flop of any film to date.

          Though Murphy was eventually able to bounce back, and even nabbing an Oscar nomination for 2006’s Dreamgirls, The Adventures of Pluto Nash was bad enough that the comedian was never again considered the box office draw he once was.


      • 14 Actors Who Desperately Need A Hit Movie

        Eddie Murphy

        It’s practically impossible to overestimate the influence Eddie Murphy has had on the comedy genre over the last few decades, though his stock has sadly fallen off a cliff in recent years following a string of blockbuster duds.

        In fact, outside of the Shrek franchise, his last starring hit was 2007’s atrocious Norbit, with the likes of Meet Dave, Imagine That and A Thousand Words bombing horribly, either causing or forcing Murphy to take a step back from these types of movies.

        His single movie since 2012, the drama Mr. Church, was a critical and commercial failure, and though he’s got Twins sequel Triplets and Beverly Hills Cop 4 in the works, it’s hard to believe either of these will actually get made.

        Perhaps appearing in Bill Condon’s (Beauty and the Beast) upcoming Richard Pryor biopic as Pryor’s father LeRoy might give him a critical boost if not a commercial one, but otherwise it’s looking pretty barren for the fading star.

        At least he’s probably got enough money to not literally need the work…


    • Eddie Murphy on Making His First Indie Movie, Celebrating Pluto Nash, and Returning to Stand-up


  9. Beatty never been consistent for every hit hes had a few flops


  10. eddie should branch out in more drama he has talent


    • It sounds good in theory, but there are some factors to consider: I think Eddie Murphy would want to do drama on his own terms, the television/film community just doesn’t see him as a dramatic actor (Bill Murray once went through that), and he’d need the kind of vehicle which would do well and inspire him to continue in that direction.
      I don’t know, Eddie Murphy’s always been a tough case: I’m not trying to be funny here, but I think Eddie Murphy moved away from comedy a long time ago (I don’t think his heart was really in it) on a personal level, but the next thing that was on the level of his comedic works never has happened, so he’s kind of stuck in an artistic no man’s land. This is why F. Scott Fitzgerald said that there are no second acts in life (that doesn’t apply to everyone though), because that’s been the case for Murphy. It’s tough for him, since not many people blow up like he did in the 1980’s and become that huge, but it’s impossible just to enjoy a few good years with something unless there’as something equal or better to replace it.


  11. Bill has done a lot of dram dies in the last 18 years Eddie could do the same .If his movie career is dead he could venture into a tv sitcom MAybe a modern family type thing.


    • Murphy was on the perimeter of TV with his involvement in the stop-motion show “The PJ’s” (which I liked, although at first I didn’t understand what PJ’s meant). I’m not sure if live action TV is his game though, even if I believe he’d do fine in a series or miniseries. I’m just not sure if he’s interested.


  12. Tv might be his only hope. With his movie career going the way it is there might be no tv offers.


  13. Oscars: Ranking the Last 12 Academy Awards Hosts!8/billy-crystal-2012/


    Billy Crystal (2012)

    After last year’s rightfully mocked experiment with youthful hosts, the 84th Academy Awards pivoted entirely in the opposite direction, into the comforting arms of Billy Crystal. The result could hardly be called exciting, but after the pre-telecast fireworks Academy mavens were perhaps slightly relieved to be a little bit boring. If that was an unspoken goal — other than some unscripted moments displaying genuine emotion — they got their wish. Crystal and producer Brian Grazer were safe, familiar choices for the Oscars after Brett Ratner verbally torpedoed his stewardship of the ceremony and Eddie Murphy subsequently withdrew as host. The film montage featured some clever edits — the juxtaposition of scenes from “The Help” and “Bridesmaids,” for example — but it was hard to escape a nagging feeling the night would be filled with deja vu.


  14. Arise Prince Akeem! Eddie Murphy ‘working on a sequel to hit 1988 comedy Coming to America’

    The comedian is in the early stages


    • Ever since Ice Cube and Cedric the Entertainer did those “Barbershop” movies, I kind of wish that Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall did a “Coming to America” spin-off about those old bickering men in the barbershop in Queens.



    I hadn’t thought about this one in awhile when I saw one of the subjects in the news today and it brought it all back. This happened not even a decade ago, but not many people probably remember it. It involves a permanent A list mostly movie actor and a celebrity who at the time was not that high on the celebrity list and known more for who she had been married to. Things are hot and heavy between our couple and they decide they should take things to the next level. There was just one problem. OK, more than one problem. Our actor had been telling the celebrity repeatedly for a long time that his most recent ex was lying about something big. It turns out it was our actor who was lying. Our actor also told the celebrity he was into some kinky sex. She was too, BUT, he failed to mention that he also liked to involve a third person and who that person was. Finally, he was upset that the celebrity would not be willing to drop something despite her telling him that she needed to keep it in order to keep getting paid as part of her previous divorce agreement. ALL of these things came out in one night. All of it. It was the fight of fights. The argument of arguments and they were done the next day. To keep her silence, our actor wrote her a $1M check right there and then.

    A list actor: Eddie Murphy

    Celebrity: Tracey E. Edmonds (Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds and couldn’t drop “Edmonds” from her name)

    Most recent ex: Mel B. (“Scary Spice”)

    Third Party: Transsexual Atisone Seiuli


  16. 15 Times Stunt Performers Were Seriously Injured (Or Died) On Set


    Vampire in Brooklyn is exactly what it sounds like: a vampire who lives in Brooklyn. Not surprisingly, the movie did horribly. Starring both Eddie Murphy and Angela Bassett, it’s not as if the film was lacking when it came to it’s actors, it was simply just a bad movie.

    Bassett’s stunt double, Sonja Davis, fell to her death during filming. During a stunt, she fell forty-two feet. According to the LA Times, the family sued “Paramount Studios and Eddie Murphy Productions for $10 million, alleging that the film crew failed to provide proper safety equipment.”

    Apparently, Davis was not comfortable with the stunt, and her last words were “are you sure?” She didn’t think the stunt was safe and she was obviously right in that thinking.


    • Movie scenes that actually killed stunt actors

      Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)

      Angela Bassett’s double in Vampire in Brooklyn had invited her mother and siblings to the set of the film to watch her work on the day her life was cut short. Sonja Davis’ mother Wanda Sapp would later reveal that she overheard her daughter casting doubt on the safety of the stunt she was about to perform during their fateful visit, telling The Los Angeles Times, “The last words I heard my baby say was when she yelled down to the stunt coordinator, ‘Are you sure?’ I could feel Sonja wasn’t comfortable with the stunt.”

      Davis had been performing a 42-foot backward jump off of a building, but rather than landing safely on the air bag that was supposed to cushion her fall, she instead bounced back into the building before making impact with the ground, much to her family’s horror. Her mother initiated a multi-million dollar wrongful death suit against the studio, Paramount Pictures (along with director Wes Craven and producer/star Eddie Murphy), but the case was ultimately dismissed. Stunt coordinators on the film would later claim in an oral history of the movie that Davis didn’t perform the jump correctly, but there were also no ambulances on set during the incident. Davis was 32.


  17. Nostalgia Critic Real Thoughts On: The Haunted Mansion (2003)

    Tony joins Doug and Rob in discussing what should have been one of Disney’s coolest movies.


  18. The untold truth of SNL’s forgotten season

    How Eddie Murphy talked his way onto the show

    Doumanian also wanted an African-American performer—but only one—to replace the departing Garrett Morris. A New York City stand-up comedian and street performer named Charlie Barnett was an early frontrunner, but he skipped his second audition and blew his chance because he was “scared” to read from a script. He later told People, “I read good, but I read slow.” 

    Future star Robert Townsend was Doumanian’s top choice and he’d even been offered the part, but SNL talent coordinator Neil Levy said in Live from New York that after the auditions had passed, “this guy Eddie Murphy started calling me.” Levy recalled that Murphy “would go into this whole thing about how he had 18 brothers and sisters and they were counting on him to get his job.” He called so often that Levy brought him in as an extra…and then gave him an audition.

    At least there was Eddie Murphy

    The saving grace of the 1980-81 season of Saturday Night Live was Eddie Murphy, certainly one the show’s greatest-ever performers and biggest stars. Amazingly, Murphy debuted on SNL when he was 19 years old, and was brilliant at everything he tried on the show: sketch comedy, stand-up, and impersonations. Among Murphy’s bright spots in an otherwise dismal season: appearing as a consumer reporter on “Weekend Update” urging people to eat dog food, debuting the incendiary Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood parody “Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood,” and a stand-up bit about how being the first featured player promoted to regular cast member during his first season wouldn’t go to his head.


  19. Been thinking about Murphy earlier and revisited this article.

    In a lot of ways, I think Murphy became more focused on being Murphy the entertainer rather than being Murphy the comedian/actor. His desire to make stuff that could play for all audiences outpaced the talent he has.

    His best stuff (his stand-up, 48 Hrs, Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop) was his edgiest. But he couldn’t do that for his whole career and I sure understand hwy he wouldn’t want to. But when he tried to venture into new territory, audiences weren’t interested.

    Lebeau’s point about “a perception that movies like Harlem Nights and Boomerang were “black movies”. They were still successful. But they didn’t enjoy the mainstream success of movies like Beverly Hills Cop.” makes sense. In 1988, Eddie Murphy was the king of the box office. But such reigns have to come to an end, in some cases sooner, in some cases later. Harlem Nights in a way started that process and the 48 Hrs sequel sped it up. Boomerang did provide him with a hit. But in some ways, I think he was disappointed to realize that his name alone was no longer a guarantee that people would show up. He would go on to do more quality work in the 90s. But he was no longer guaranteed to draw audiences in.

    In some ways, this would become more apparent and problematic a decade later. It would be one thing if once the 90s ended, Murphy had become totally irrelevant at the box office, since he has the talent to make good stuff totally on his own terms. But looking at the bulk of his output since Bowfinger, one gets the impression that he’s been focused on taking paycheck roles that aren’t too demanding and hoping that sheer willpower alone will return him to the a-list. There have been hints of the talent still in there. The prime problem I think is that in some ways he’s torn between his artistic aspirations and his desire to make tons of money. Dreamgirls showed the artistic side and Norbit spoke to the money aspect. if he could figure out a way to do one for the money and one for the art, it would work. But he hasn’t seemed to be able to do so. Sad, for one of the greatest comedians of the 80s and 90s.


    • 16 Insanely Hot Actors Hollywood Won’t Cast Anymore


      Murphy was a 20th century comedy god with his groundbreaking stand-up and instant classics like Coming to America, Trading Places, and the Beverly Hills Cop series. Nearly every comedian working today cites him as an influence. Even his broader multi-role turns in Dr. Doolittle and The Nutty Professor filled theaters and paved the way for Tyler Perry’s oeuvre. But after Murphy’s involvement as the back-talking Donkey in the Shrek films, things took a downturn. Murphy began racking up the Razzies in drivel like The Adventures of Pluto Nash, The Haunted Mansion, and Norbit. All this failure overshadowed something that would normally reinvigorate an actors’ career – his Oscar nod for Dreamgirls. Though time has been kind to Murphy’s appearance, public demand for his brand of antics has certainly waned. Perhaps Beverly Hills Cop 4 will reinvigorate his career.


    • Eddie also during the ’90s, seemed to want to stop being an “edgy comedian” and be be a more “straight forward” black leading man a la Denzel Washington or Wesley Snipes. “Boomerang” (besides being like “Harlem Nights”, seen as too much of a “black movie” unlike Eddie’s prior movie) was Eddie’s attempt at being a debonair, romantic leading man instead of an out and out comedian/pot stirrer like his ’80s persona.

      And even in “Beverly Hills Cop III”, Eddie had the mentality that Axel Foley was “grown up” now can be the hip, rule breaking, unorthodox cop from Detroit like in the previous too.

      “Metro” seemed to be Eddie’s attempt at winning back the audience who liked him in “48Hrs.” and the first two “Beverly Hills Cop” movies, with another violent, action-comedy but instead of I suppose laughing with Eddie, we were pitying him (especially since “Bad Boys” with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence had kind of stolen his thunder) to say the least.


    • When (or If) Did An Actor’s Career Tank?

      Eddie Murphy started off his career strong but made a lot of bad movies in the 90s and early 2000s. His career picked up a bit with hits like Shrek, Shrek 2, and Dreamgirls. But he just hasn’t making that many films as of lately.


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