Sitting here stunned at the news of Charlie Murphy dying at 57 of leukemia: I enjoyed all of his film roles, his comedy bits in other projects and, of course, the now-famous True Hollywood Stories enactments from The Dave Chappelle Show. We were lucky enough to see him when I covered his stand-up performance: we were at a table close to the front when I turned around just in time to watch Charlie jogging down the aisle to my right and then hitting the stage. It was one of the most memorable routines ever, and he will be deeply missed.
He’s got the same eyes, build, blinding grin and machine-gun style of joke delivery as his younger brother, Eddie. But Charlie Murphy proved his own comedic power before a packed house Friday night at the Addison Improv.
Thanks to his now-classic “True Hollywood Stories” on Chappelle’s Show, Charlie Murphy has finally built his own mainstream identity and is proud of it, even with the occasional negatives – fans screaming “CHARLIE MURPHY!” in his face.
And he never misses how much white people seem to enjoy his established nickname from Chappelle’s Show a la the late Rick James, “Darkness.”
Not that he’s tired of the fame, considering that he’s been called “Eddie Murphy’s brother” for the last 17 years, even by his own son.
Charlie Murphy has a commanding stage presence and doesn’t hesitate to tell the audience when they’ve overstepped the bounds. “I don’t need no help up here, that’s like getting on a plane and finding a passenger flying it,” he warned. But the comedian keeps it jovial as well as firm.
He had many outrageously funny routines, starting with how the male ego shortens life and drives men to build skyscrapers and fall off of mountains: “What’s up there? Nothin’. Whatcha’ climbing it for then?”
“You’ll never read about a black man in the paper getting stuck on the mountain, because we already know they wouldn’t look for us,” he jokes.
He also shared his pick for the ultimate male movie of the decade, 300.
“I was charged up, dripping with sweat …” He explained why Osama bin Laden should’ve been captured already. … He’s 6′ 8″ and lives in a country with no trees. We have bombs that can go to somebody’s house, ring the bell, ask for the target and then detonate,” Mr. Murphy says.
And he also has something to say about celebs going in and out of rehab and steroids in baseball.
“When I go to a game, I pay to see a home run – I don’t care if his head weighs over 25 pounds,” Mr. Murphy says. His attitude: So what if there’s steroids in baseball.
His opening acts were hilarious as well. Peter Barrera talked about growing up in Oak Cliff and no one believing he was Mexican, “because he talks so intelligent.”
His secret to his marriage lasting 17 years was marrying in junior high, he jokes. And his marketing of the church service (“We could sell more Bibles if there were coupons in the back”) got him ousted.