Dolemite Is My Name star Eddie Murphy announces he is returning to standup comedy in 2020. Murphy was just 19 years old when he burst on the national scene as a cast-member on Saturday Night Live, and went on to almost single-handedly keep SNL afloat during the show's tumultuous early 1980s. At the same time that he was making a name for himself as a TV performer, Murphy also crossed over to the movies, becoming a bona fide star thanks to early roles in edgy comedies like 48 Hrs. and Trading Places as well as his breakout in the blockbuster Beverly Hills Cop.
But as great as Murphy was on SNL and in the movies, he was arguably even greater on the standup comedy stage. Murphy indeed got his start as a standup (he recently reflected on his early standup days on an episode of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee), and in the 1980s he ascended to the top of the form, releasing his pair of now-classic standup movies Delirious and Raw, the latter of which made a massive $50 million when released in theaters in 1987. But Raw would prove to be Murphy’s swan-song in standup, as he left the stage to focus on his movie career.
Now, Murphy has revealed he’s plotting a return to the stage. In an appearance on the Netflix podcast Present Company With Krista Smith (via Deadline), Murphy said, “Next year in 2020 I’m going to go on the road and do some standup.” Murphy is indeed developing an ongoing relationship with Netflix, with his new Rudy Ray Moore biopic Dolemite Is My Name set to hit the streaming service in September. Back in July, it was reported by TMZ that Murphy was negotiating with the streamer about the possibility of a standup special, though nothing has been confirmed in that regard.
Murphy saying he’s hitting the road to do standup comes as the comedian is set to make another big return, going back to television in December to host Saturday Night Live for the first time since 1984. Murphy is also set to revisit one of his most iconic film roles, starring in the sequel Coming 2 America, which sees his Coming to America character Prince Akeem seeking out his long-lost son.
This sudden spate of Murphy return projects comes as great news for long-time fans who remember the comedian during his peak period in the ‘80s, when he owned SNL, Hollywood and the standup stage like no one before or since. Of course, many of Murphy’s fans have bailed on him over the years as he’s seemingly lost his edge, becoming a performer-for-hire in mostly family-friendly projects with only occasional, largely forgettable forays into adult oriented fare. If the world is indeed in the middle of a legitimate Murphy renaissance thanks to Dolemite Is My Name and his other projects, it is a most stunning and most welcome development.
- Dolemite Is My Name (2019) release date: Oct 25, 2019