It has been decades since Eddie Murphy performed stand-up, but his peers continue to hold out hope that he will one day return to the stage.
During his appearance on Kevin Hart’s SiriusXM podcast Comedy Gold Minds with Kevin Hart to promote his film Coming 2 America (which is out now on Amazon Prime), Murphy was jokingly pressed by Hart about getting back into stand-up.
“Eddie, I don’t like talking to you about stand-up no more. I’m not fallin’ for the fuckin’ trap. I’m sick of you, I’m sick of your shit,” Hart said, per Deadline. “Every time we talk, he leaves me with a piece of information, and I feel like I got gold.”
Murphy revealed that he had a plan in mind that started with releasing Dolemite and concluded with him working out some new material in preparation for a new stand-up special.
“My plan was to do Dolemite, Saturday Night Live, Coming 2 America and then do stand-up. And then the pandemic hit, and it shut the whole shit down,” he explained. “Then I was going – the whole time last year I would have been out working on my act trying to get my shit right, and then the whole thing shut down.”
In a September 2019 interview with the New York Times, Murphy revealed that he wanted to return to SNL for the first time since 1984 because he saw it as a bookend to his career. “I’m kind of looking at this period as a bookend,” he said. “I hadn’t been back to SNL. Let’s fix that. Let’s do stand-up again. That way, when I finally just sit on the couch, then it’s good.”
TMZ reported in July 2019 that Murphy was negotiating a deal with Netflix for an undisclosed number of stand-up specials. At the time, the number being thrown around was reportedly $70 million, which would’ve exceeded the reported $60 million that Dave Chappelle received for three specials, and the $40 million deal that Chris Rock inked for two.
While the pandemic halted those plans to return to stand-up, Murphy is still motivated to go out on the road when things get back to normal. “Hey, when the pandemic is over and it’s safe for everybody to go out and do it, then the plan is to do it,” he said.
Murphy hinted at the idea of rounding up all the comedians starring in Coming 2 America for a tour while on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The film stars Arsenio Hall, Jermaine Fowler, Leslie Jones, Trevor Noah, Tracy Morgan, and more.