When I first went on [stage], my first words to the audience was, I dont care if you dont like me. I dont care if you think this is funny And if you dont like what Im saying, then fuck you. Oddly enough, the audience was not put off by this. They thought that was funny, but that was the way I really felt, he says.
Murphy has proven he can hold his own. As a writer for Chappelles Show, he gained notoriety for his Charlie Murphys True Holly-wood skits, in which hed hilariously recall his encounters with stars such as Prince and Rick James. More recently, Murphy has hosted his own show on BET, We Got to Do Better (previously titled Hot Ghetto Mess). It has met with some controversy, as it features Murphy on the streets asking mostly African-Americans about current events and black history. More often than not, the people answer incorrectly and look foolish, which led many to accuse Murphy of insulting his own race.
As a black man, do you think it would be in my interest to do anything to deface, defame or belittle my own people? Murphy asks. Thats not what we were doing and when the show came out, all of the people who had something negative to say, shut up together. Dissenters eventually understood the shows social and political goals, but its still a sore spot for Murphy.
As far as his family ties, Murphy says that can only take someone so far comedy isnt a matter of blood. You cant really go, Well, Im laughing because youre Eddie Murphys brother, he says. Because, you know what, I have another brother and I dont see him making people laugh. Murphy appears today at 8 p.m. Show runs Thursday to today. The Improv, 7620 Katy Freeway. For a full schedule and ticket information, call 713-333-8800 or visit www.improv2.com. $30.
Fri., Feb. 1, 8 & 10:30 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 2, 8 & 10:30 p.m., 2008