It’s such a sadness that Eddie Murphy has never been truly relevant in the time I’ve been aware enough to pay attention. Always an icon but already deep in the fat suits by the point at which I started learning about his legacy, Eddie Murphy was and is like a Michael Jackson… all of his great material is still right there to be explored, but damn if it doesn’t synch up with his current trajectory (though for MJ that trajectory is now the deeper parts of the cosmos).
That said, maybe the time has come that Murphy will turn things around and return to being a dangerous, consistently hilarious comedian. Okay, probably not, but he’s at least done with the kiddie bullshit for a while.
“I don’t think I’m gonna be doing a lot of family stuff for a while. I don’t have any interest in that right now. There’s really no blueprint, but I’m trying to do some edgy stuff. And I only want to do what I really want to do, otherwise I’m content to sit here and play my guitar all day. I always tell people now that I’m a semiretired gentleman of leisure, and occasionally I’ll go do some work to break the boredom up.”
This comes from a new interview with Rolling Stone in which Murphy lays himself out pretty clearly as a content, generally aloof guy with little to prove. It’s by no means inspiring that the guy might dive back into edgier fare simply for the routine-breaking novelty of it, but he suggests he might even challenge himself with some stand-up once again…
“If I ever get back onstage, I’m going to have a really great show for you all,” he says. “An hour and a half of stand-up and about 40 minutes of my shitty band . . . But I haven’t done it since I was 27, so why fuck with it? But that’s just weighing both sides. It comes up too much for me to not do it again. It’s like, when it hits me, I’ll do it, eventually.”
Alright, so many of these quotes are borderline depressing. There doesn’t seem to be much artistic imperative or comedic energy left in him, or at least not much indicated by his decidedly cavalier responses. Still, if he’s open to things other than Norbitt sequels, then there’s the chance the right material might come around and light him up. As for diving back into old wells, he’s also not much interested in that, saying that none of the Beverly Hills Cop sequel scripts did it right. The franchise could live on through a TV show though.
“What I’m trying to do now is produce a TV show starring Axel Foley’s son, and Axel is the chief of police now in Detroit. I’d do the pilot, show up here and there. None of the movie scripts were right; it was trying to force the premise. If you have to force something, you shouldn’t be doing it. It was always a rehash of the old thing. It was always wrong.”
There’s more on the Rolling Stone recap of their interview, and then obviously more in the print issue, so check it out to hear him talk about losing the Oscar and living the life of a successful person.
Are you glad to hear Murphy expressing an interest in a career shift, or has he long since lost you?