Eddie Murphy has confirmed he’s getting back into standup comedy. In July, it was heavily rumoured that the comedian was going to sign an astronomical $70 million deal with Netflix for a special. The said standup special would be Murphy’s first since 1987’s highly influential Raw, which was released in theatres. It’s not clear if Murphy is really going to do a Netflix special, but there are more than a few hints that it will be happening and that it will be happening fairly soon.
Eddie Murphy confirmed the standup news on the Netflix podcast Present Company. Around the 25-minute mark of the interview, the comedian talks about hosting Saturday Night Live at the end of the year and then says, “…next year in 2020 I’m going to go on the road and do some stand-up.” He did not offer up any further details about his plan, but since this interview was with the Netflix podcast, one can only assume that the rumoured deal may prove to be true in the coming months.
Jerry Seinfeld’s Netflix series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee season 11 premiered in July of this year and one episode featured Eddie Murphy. When discussing a possible return to standup comedy, Murphy said, “I’m going to do it again,” and then continued by stating, “Everything just has to be right. You have to get up there and start working out.” Well, it appears that everything is starting to fall into place for the comedian at the moment. And notice, this is the second time Murphy has mentioned to Netflix that he is making a return to the stage.
As for the third Netflix connection, Eddie Murphy has just finished a movie for the streaming platform. Dolemite Is My Name hits theatres for a limited release on October 4th before streaming on the 25th. The biopic is about standup comedian and blaxploitation legend Rudy Ray Moore and Murphy is taking on the lead role. With all three of these Netflix connections, it looks like an exclusive special is imminent, though it has not been confirmed. There is a lot of pressure for Murphy to return to standup comedy, especially after the crazy success of Delirious and Raw.
When looking at Delirious and Raw, which are some of the most influential comedy specials in history, there’s a lot of content that would be considered taboo today. The comedic landscape is much different than it was in the 1980s and one would have to think observing it and thinking about how a new special would be daunting to Eddie Murphy, who was a perfectionist on the stage. Fellow comedian Dave Chappelle just hit some backlash for his latest Netflix special and he really doesn’t seem to care. Whatever the case may be, Murphy says he’s returning to the stage, which is huge news. But one can’t help but wonder what an Eddie Murphy routine in 2020 will be like.