Charlie Murphy

If you don’t think Charlie Murphy is as funny as his brother, “then fuck you,” he says. Eddie Murphy’s comedian brother says when he started out, he wasn’t nervous about living up to the family comparisons. “The way I dealt with it was by not caring about it,” he says.

“When I first went on [stage], my first words to the audience was, ‘I don’t care if you don’t like me. I don’t care if you think this is funny…And if you don’t like what I’m 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 Chappelle’s Show, he gained notoriety for his “Charlie Murphy’s True Holly-wood” skits, in which he’d 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. “That’s 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 show’s social and political goals, but it’s still a sore spot for Murphy.

As far as his family ties, Murphy says that can only take someone so far — comedy isn’t a matter of blood. “You can’t really go, ‘Well, I’m laughing because you’re Eddie Murphy’s brother,’” he says. “Because, you know what, I have another brother and I don’t 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

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