Fans of Eddie Murphy’s stand-up specials — people who still sing “We got McDonald’s!” every time they buy a Big Mac — are cautiously optimistic about the possibility that the comedian will return to his more delirious persona as the host of the Oscars, even if he’ll be in black tie rather than red leather. With his Tower Heist director Brett Ratner producing, it’s a distinct possibility that he’ll be less blandly genial a host than we’ve seen in recent years. Sure, the expletives will be replaced with some more telecast-friendly “filth flarn filth” come the big night, but might this be the first step to Murphy retaking the mic to do another special 25 years after Raw?
“Some days I’m like, it’s right there, I’m going to do it tomorrow,” Murphy told EW last month. “But then the other side of it is, I haven’t done stand-up comedy since I was 27, 28 years old, and now I’ll see a show with comedians and they talk about me favorably with people like Richard [Pryor], Lenny Bruce, all those guys. They talk about me in the same breath, so it’s kind of like, why f— with that?”
But he insists that he hasn’t let his on-stage comedy instincts atrophy in the years since 1987’s hilariously profane Raw. “I’ll tell you what, whatever muscle it is that writes jokes, I still have that. I still say, ‘That’s funny. If I were doing standup, I’d do that.’ I still write jokes and say funny stuff that could be made into standup.”
According to our poll, the vast majority of readers (over 90 percent at last check) would like to hear that material, so we say, ‘Go for it, Eddie.’ And if you’ve somehow never seen either of Murphy’s specials, run, do not walk, to your nearest Hollywood Video and rent yourself a VHS copy. Or, you know, buy the DVD on Amazon.