Eddie Murphy on His Return to Stand-up

Wow. I have to tell you, I’m so
excited that you’re here. I really am. Thank you for coming.
– Thank you. It’s great to have you here. You were born here in Brooklyn. Born right here in Brooklyn. Mhm. Grew up here. You live where? What part of the city– of the borough did you live in? – I lived in Bushwick.
– In Bushwick? Yeah. OK. Right on– on Linden Street,
between Bushwick and Broadway. What did you
like to do when you were a kid, growing up here? I think you moved to Long
Island when you were 11, right? – 10.
– 10 years old? OK. What would you do? What what were your activities? What were you into?
– Out here? Yeah. Just the basic stuff. You know, back then we
used to play in the street, play Skelly, and– Mhm. You know, and hot
peas and butter. Do they still play
hot peas and butter? Do you– did y’all play– No, we didn’t play hot peas–
what is hot peas and butter? That’s when you would
take a– take, like, a belt, and you would, like, hide
it somewhere, and everybody would try to look for it. And when they get closer, you’d
go, oh, you’re getting hot. You’re getting hot. And then when they find it,
they’d say hot peas and butter, and they could whip.
And– Now I know why
we didn’t play it. Yeah. Very– very
violent street game. So if you found the belt,
you would get whipped with it? No, everybody has to run
back to the base, and anyone that you caught, you could
beat them with the belt. Yeah, now that
would be on the news if you did something like that. And would you go, like,
to Carvel, or Nathan’s? Or– I went to Carvel’s when
we went out to Long Island. Out here, we didn’t
go to Carvel’s. JIMMY KIMMEL: No Carvel’s? We’ve been to Nathan’s, and– Coney Island. Would you go on the
rides at Coney Island? – Oh, yeah.
– Yeah, really? Yeah? The Hell– they had
the Hellhole back then. That thing– we’d stand, and
it would spin in a circle. And it would press
you to the wall. Then afterwards, you’d throw up. JIMMY KIMMEL: Right. Say, well, that’s why
they call it the Hellhole. They sell more hot
dogs that way, I think. Would you get in fights when
you were a kid here in Brooklyn? Was there a lot of
fighting on your block? Because on my block, there was
nonstop fighting all the time. – Yeah, we got into fights.
– Yeah? And you– if you’ve
lived in Brooklyn, you’ve been jumped before, too. We got jumped. Me and Charlie got jumped in– back in the ’60s
and early ’70s, they had these can Kangol hats– these beaver hats. And you would– back then,
you would take baby oil and put it on your hat, and
you would just set on it, and just keep
smoothing your hat out. And it was cool. And me and Charlie– I had a blue one, and
Charlie had a green one. And they jumped us
on the bus stop, and they stomped our beavers. They were so jealous, they
beat us up and stomped them. Isn’t that a weird
thing they would do? They wouldn’t even steal stuff. On my block, they’d
steal your sneakers, and then they’d tie
the laces together, and they’d throw
them up onto power– Yeah. And then you’d have to walk
by your own shoes all the time. It’s especially humiliating. Yeah. I didn’t know this
about you, and this delights me to no end– when did you start
doing ventriloquism? [LAUGHTER] That was actually
the first thing I asked my mother for when
I was about eight years old. I asked for a
ventriloquist dummy. Was it a Charlie
McCarthy dummy? No, no. It was a dummy
called Willie Talk. – Willie Talk?
– It’s Willie Talk. OK. And his eyes
didn’t move, though. He was just looking
straight out. And you would do who? Like, friends and
stuff like that? No, I would try to, you
know, make my– you know, talk and not move my lips. And could you do that? Talk without moving your lips? I was pretty good.
I was pretty good. You were? Not good enough to,
you know, follow it. Yeah, right. Probably a good idea that
you didn’t follow it. But do you do that anymore? You entertain your children
with this sort of stuff? I have two
ventriloquist dummies now. You do? Yes. But they’re of
people that I know. Like, I have a couple of
friends that are characters. And if I could do,
like, their voice– like, I have a singer
named Val Young. Used to sing with Rick James. I could do, like, her voice. So I had a ventriloquist dummy
made that looks just like her. So we’ll go on trips sometimes,
I’ll pull the dummy out, she’ll be talking,
and I’ll be doing– Does Val– It’s very, very funny. – Does Val like the dummy?
– She loves it. She loves it? She doesn’t call
it the dummy, though. She’ll go, go bring
out the Val doll. It’s like, that’s not a doll. This is a ventriloquist’s dummy. Who’s the– Where’s the Val doll? Who’s the other
dummy in your life? Paul Mooney. I have a Paul Mooney doll. Paul Mooney? I have a little Paul
Mooney ventriloquist, so I’ll do him while he’s
there, and I do the dummy talk. And if you’re part of the
little circle, it’s very funny. You will get– yeah. What was Paul’s reaction
when you produced the dummy for the first time? Oh, he said,
[BLEEP],, you’re crazy. You have lost your [BLEEP] mind. That’s what he said. Earlier this year, I was
at a party at your house. And thank you for– I don’t know if you invited
me or not, but I came. Ah. I was very
excited to be there. And embarrassingly, I was
the first one to show up. No, you weren’t.
There was other people there. I was the first one.
Yeah. There were– the
people who were there were there, like, kind
of hanging out with you to start with. And I walked in,
and you and Arsenio were watching YouTube videos. And I was just,
like, oh, my god. This is just what I
prayed it would be like. And there were quite
a few comedians there. Chris Rock was there,
Dave Chappelle was there. Jamie Foxx.
– Sacha Baron– Sacha Baron Cohen was there. And do you– are you
aware of how, like, giddy we were to be in your house? Well, it was a party. I didn’t know they
were just giddy for– Yeah, no, we were giddy
to be in your house. And we had
conversations about it. And it’s funny to be with, like,
Chris Rock, who you know, is– you know, is unbelievable–
or Dave Chapelle. These guys who are
like, oh, my god, I can’t believe we’re
in Eddie Murphy’s house. They’ve been in
my house before. He still can’t believe it. Did– so you– I guess– yeah. [APLAUSE] And one of the things that
we’re all excited about is this idea that
you are planning to return to stand up comedy. Yes. [APPLAUSE] Which is a little bit like
hearing Michael Jordan’s going to play basketball again, but
without the physical element there. And I mean because,
you know, you really– I’m sure you’re aware of how
much you mean to everyone, especially of a
certain age group that I happen to
be on one end of. Are you worried that you
cannot live up to this– this thing you
have– you created? Naw, I don’t be worrying
about stuff like that. Like, I’m– I’m not gonna– [APPLAUSE] I’m– I tend to think
constructively when I’m thinking about something
creative, if I’m doing something creative.
I’ll think about– I want to think– I’m thinking about how– making it as funny as possible,
because I want to shut [BLEEP] down when I do it. So I don’t be going– I don’t be thinking, like,
oh, what’s going to happen? What are they going to say? And are they going to put
me put me onto YouTube? Or are they going to– That’s just part
of the world now. Are you the kind
of person who will walk out in front of
an audience and spot one woman who’s not laughing? And then– Who’s not laughing? Her name is Ann. She’s– she’s laughing now, but
I got nothing from her before. EDDIE MURPHY: Where is she? She’s right there. All right. We’re going to take a break. When we come back,
we’re going to see a clip from Eddie’s great new
movie, “Dolemite Is My Name.” Eddie Murphy, everybody. We’ll be right back. Action. Hold it, Dolemite. What do you want? FBI. What do you want, man? Where’s your warrant at? This badge is my warrant. Open up the trunk. It ain’t mine. I don’t know how it got in. You’re going to
jail for a long time. You’re gonna have to take me! [GRUNTING] Cut!
Cut. Cut. That is Eddie Murphy
and Wesley Snipes in “Dolemite Is My Name.” It is on Netflix now. It is in movie theaters, too. Oh, what a funny– well,
explain to the white people who don’t know who Dolemite is. Dolemite is this character
that a comedian named Rudy Ray Moore came up with. And Rudy Ray Moore is a
comedian from the ’70s. Like, this underground
comic, and that I was just been a
fan of for years. You loved him. You and your brother
used to watch him. Not just– he has, like,
a little cult following of people that, like– his movie started out– they were kind of,
like, stoner pictures. Like, people would smoke
weed and watch his movies, and be like, hey, look,
you can see the microphone come in the shot. You know? So that’s why people started
watching him early on. Then it kind of developed into– when I started
making movies, I had a whole different
appreciation for him. I was like, yo, this guy– he financed these
movies himself, and he kind of put it
all together himself. And he did his
records the same way. And he became, like,
one of my heroes. It is an inspirational story. He’s a totally
inspirational figure. This is a guy who’s
determined to be successful, and he tried as a
musician, and as a dancer, and then he just found
his thing playing this character, Dolemite, and
really did risk everything. – Everything.
– And you met– you’ve been trying to make
this for a long time, right? How long? Yeah, I met him–
about 15 years ago, I approached him about it. And he– he was like, man,
let’s go on tour together. They want to see
us on stage, man. Why do you think he wasn’t
interested in you playing him? I think the idea
of a movie about him just sounded ridiculous to him. It was like– How could anything
sound ridiculous to him? But the idea was– we’re going to make a Hollywood
movie about how you did– how you made Dolemite, and all– to him, at the moment,
that sounded like– that’s not something
that’s going to happen. Wow, really? Even with you?
– No. It was, you know– I think I might have just
been coming off a movie like “Pluto Nash,” too. He was like, man, they ain’t
making no movie like that. Let’s go on tour together. So you got
stiffed by Dolemite? Wow. Yeah, because the movie– I went and watched the
original, and that scene is almost identical to the
scene in the real movie. Yeah, it’s a bunch of stuff. We went to the same
locations and– we went– we shot– we had the exact outfits,
and cars, and it’s just– Craig Brewer, who directed
it, just really did a spot– It’s really, really good. And Wesley Snipes
is great in it, too. He is so funny in this movie. Now, you’re a mysterious man. You’re aware of that, right?
Because you– Am I mysterious? Yes, you are mysterious. You are. So I want to run through
a few random questions, if you’d be so kind as to
solve these mysteries for us. You turned down the chance to
be part of “We Are The World,” in the “We Are The World Video.” Is that true? Well, I didn’t turn it down. I was doing something
else, and Stevie– I was in Stevie
Wonder’s studio, and I was working on some music. And he was like, hey, come
over, we’re doing this thing. You know? And I was like, hey, man,
I’m recording this song, “Party All The Time.” [AUDIENCE CHEERING] So I was doing some other– then they called– then I
realized afterwards what it was, and I felt like an idiot. Right before you
guys got “SNL.” They did this real heavy
song in “We Are The World,” and my song is
party all the time! Shake your ass! Shake it! You were fired from
a job at McDonald’s. True? No, I quit that job. You quit the
job at McDonald’s? I was fired from
Chandler’s Shoes. Chandler’s Shoes? Yes, that’s right. Is this right before “SNL?” – Oh, yeah, right before “SNL.”
– Yeah. A year before. And you’re going
to be returning to host SNL for the first
time in how many years? [APPLAUSE] 35 years. First time in 35 years? That’s going to be
something great, hu? I hope so. I hope so, too. Have you started
thinking of– will you do any of your classic characters? I hope so. Yeah, I would imagine I’d
do some of that stuff. Yeah, but that show, you
can’t really prepare. You can’t prepare. It happens on the Monday,
and it’s over on Saturday. You can’t really
get ready for it. But Gumby is timeless, really. Oh, yeah, I’m gonna do Gumby. And I want– I’m
trying to figure out some reason to do Velvet Jones. Oh, yes. Velvet Jones. And Mr. Robinson’s
Neighborhood. One of those. Oh, my gosh. Well there’s, certainly been
a resurgence of Mr. Rogers in the recent years, so I
don’t see why you couldn’t do something like that. Yeah, exactly. And a funny Buckwheat sketch. Are you aware– do you read the
reviews of your movies? – No, I don’t–
– You do not? Well, you should on this
one, because it’s, like, 99% on Rotten Tomatoes, and
people are saying you might win an Oscar for this role. Oh, that’s great. So that’s good. That’s good. Well, I have to say, it is
so exciting to have you here. Especially here in Brooklyn. And I really appreciate it. And I think I speak
on behalf of everyone that we are thrilled
that you are back and making movies, and
doing stand up comedy, and giving us your all. Really is– that’s all
we want, is everything. Eddie Murphy, everybody. “Dolemite Is My Name.” It’s in theaters and on Netflix. We’ll be right
back, from Brooklyn.

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