Eddie Murphy Gets Back in the Hollywood Game
Plus: The implausibly named "Six Days, Seven Nights"
IN VOICE He’s no longer Gumby, dammit, but Eddie Murphy is getting back in ‘toon as the voice behind Thurgood Stubbs, the politically incorrect, Wheel of Fortune-loving inner-city-project superintendent on the upcoming Fox series The PJs. “Think Archie Bunker combined with Fred Sanford,” says Tom Turpin, CEO of Will Vinton Studios, which is creating the “foamation”—a variation on Claymation—show along with exec producer Murphy, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer‘s Imagine Entertainment, and Touchstone Television. Murphy, Howard, and Grazer came up with the idea for the series over lunch one day, wondering out loud what would have happened if the Thunderbirds—those trippy marionette action stars of the ’60s—had lived in the projects. A brief preview shown at a Fox press conference in May was so well received that the network is planning on The PJs as a mid-season replacement, possibly to debut in the coveted post- Super Bowl slot. Can Stubbs do for the asphalt jungle what the South Park kids did for a little Colorado town? “We hope so,” says Turpin, but “it’s more like a mix of The Simpsons and In Living Color.”
JET-LAGGED Is it just us, or is there something a bit off about Six Days, Seven Nights? No, we’re not talking about the whole Anne Heche question. We’re scratching our heads over that title. What kind of weird vacation package takes up six days and seven nights? (You arrive at the resort, immediately go to sleep…) “That’s standard nomenclature for the travel business,” insists a Touchstone Pictures spokesman. Not so, says Mark Klarman, manager of New York City’s Bond Street Travel, noting that a more plausible name would have been Seven Days, Six Nights. “You always count the day you arrive and the day you leave,” explains Klarman. “If you go away for the weekend, that’s three days and two nights.” According to the film’s screenwriter, Michael Browning, the problem is a few key lines “got cut. In the original script,” he says, it was explained that “the vacation was deliberately lopsided to make it [sound] more romantic.” (Nights, lovers, get it?) “Hopefully,” adds Browning, “this isn’t screwing up people’s travel plans all over the world.”