To put it kindly, Murphy has had an inconsistent movie career. He’s starred in classics such as Beverly Hills Cop and Coming to America, but he’s also appeared in some absolute stinkers like Norbit and The Adventures of Pluto Nash. From 2012 to 2018, Murphy only appeared in one film, the low-key drama Mr. Church. During his chat with Maron on the WTF podcast, Murphy said his experience with some of these lower-quality films inspired him to take a step back.
“I was making shitty movies,” he admitted, explaining why he decided to “take a break” from the industry for a few years. “I was like, ‘This shit ain’t fun. They’re giving me Razzies.”
The infamous Golden Raspberry Awards celebrate the worst in film, and Murphy has received a total of 10 Razzie nominations, including three wins for Norbit with Worst Actor, Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Supporting Actress. Playing all the roles did not serve him well in that film, but he did get the Razzie Redeemer Award for his performance in his comeback project on Netflix, Dolemite Is My Name.
“Motherfuckers gave me the ‘Worst Actor Ever’ Razzie,” he added, referring to the ‘Worst Actor of the Decade’ title he was awarded in 2010. “‘Maybe it’s time to take a break,’” he said of how he felt at the time. “I was only gonna take a break for a year, then all of a sudden six years go by, and I’m sitting on the couch, and I could sit on the couch and not get off, but I don’t want the last bunch of shit they see me do [be] bullshit,” he continued.
His comeback plan as he noted was to do Dolemite, followed by a hosting gig at Saturday Night Live before Christmas 2019, and then Coming 2 America. He was planning to do stand-up to remind people he’s “still funny,” but the COVID-19 pandemic put a delay on those plans. He’s said he still looks to revisit stand-up in the future, but it’s unclear when he will be able to do so.