For anyone growing up in the 90s, Eddie Murphy was one of the funniest guys around. It was – as it has been for so many other comedians since the show started back in 1975 – ‘Saturday Night Live’ that kickstarted his career. He joined the cast in 1980, only 19 years old, and stayed on until 1984. By that time he’d done numerous memorable skits on the show, taped the classic stand up comedy show ‘Delirious’ and starred in both ’48 Hrs’ and ‘Trading Places’, two highly entertaining comedy flicks with Nick Nolte co-starring in the former and Dan Akroyd in the latter. Dan Akroyd himself was also from the “school of Saturday Night Live”.
His impersonations of James Brown and Stevie Wonder are both brilliant, and his “Buckwheat-sings-songs-the-way-he-knows-them” skit from ‘The Rascals’ is as hilarious as it is recognizable. We’ve all been there, singing our hearts out to songs we do not even know the words to. I think. His Mr. Robinson skits were dark and brilliant (see below), and make me pray for a return to the “old” Eddie Murphy in the future. After leaving ‘Saturday Night Live’, he went on to star in ‘Beverly Hills Cop’, where fast-talking Axel Foley wreaks havoc and drives fellow cops Taggart and Rosewood insane. And we love it, of course. A fourth movie in the franchise has been announced for 2016… could this finally be the comeback Eddie Murphy and his loyal fans have been waiting for?
After his hit movies, as well as stand up shows ‘Delirious’ and ‘Raw’, the 90s saw the start of his career’s demise. He still made movies, but they just didn’t work. Putting on a fat suit is rarely funny, and there’s usually a reason why casting agents choose to pick different persons for different roles… He received praise and an Oscar-nomination for his role in ‘Dreamgirls’ in 2006, and were perfect as Donkey in the ‘Shrek’ movies, but those were the exceptions more than the rule. He was set to host the 84th Academy Awards, but stepped down after show producer Brett Ratner exited. Now, all of us who remember the funny Eddie are hoping for a comeback from the actor who once had us laughing our asses off to his retelling of kids eating ice cream, his family BBQs, his dad singing Motown classics when drunk and skeletons in the closet.
Some fun facts (after all, we are talking about the funniest guy from the 80’s):
- Is the only cast member of ‘Saturday Night Live’ to have hosted the show as a current member, once replacing Nick Nolte (who had to cancel due to illness).
- Loves the original Star Trek series, Elvis Presley and… Kylie Minouge.
- Released a reggae track in 2013 featuring Snoop Dogg (who else, right?)
- Has played in a lot of movies that have spawned sequels: ’48 Hrs’, ‘Beverly Hills Cop’, ‘Doctor Dolittle’, ‘The Nutty Professor’ and ‘Shrek.
- He’s got a kid with Mel B from Spice Girls (not sure how fun that is, though).
Here’s hoping that we will see the funny side of Eddie again soon. And if not, well we’ll always have stuff like this: