'Dolemite' Star Eddie Murphy: Edgy Comedy Is 'Bigger Than Ever'
Eddie Murphy is back on the big screen, playing the late comedian, actor, musician, and producer Rudy Ray Moore in the new movie "Dolemite Is My Name."
Murphy, who is generating Oscar buzz for his performance, sat down with "Extra's" Renee Bargh to talk about the film, and also talked about being a comedian in the age of cancel culture.
"I think that comedy is soaring like it never soared before," Eddie said. "When I started doing stand-up comedy, it was 50 comics in the country and the ceiling was to get a sitcom or get on 'The Tonight Show.' Now, comics are main attractions, comedians that never had a movie, never had a TV show, sell out the Garden, make millions of dollars, and doing stand-up comedy has gone global — it's bigger than it's ever been, it's more diverse than it's ever been."
Renee pointed out that comics can't necessarily get away with the same jokes as in the past, but Murphy sees it a different way, saying, "Everything is timing — when you say it, how you say it, who you say it in front of. There are still comics that are doing some edgy sh*t."
Eddie is set to hit the road again next year to do stand-up comedy for the first time in years. What will his material be like? "I haven't read a newspaper in 20 years, so there is a lot of stuff I don't even know," he admitted. "There is no group or anybody I am going to do jokes about. When I get on the stage, it's gonna be about me... I'm not even thinking of ruffling feathers, my act is going to be about my life."
As for playing Moore, Murphy noted, "Our careers are totally opposite. I got in really easy, only had one audition in my life, got into movies really early." Moore, who died at 81 in 2008, struggled to be successful. "Nobody did it the way he did it," Murphy said admiringly. "Funny, interesting, unique — he is a unique person. People see there is a little cult following."
Asked when he might marry his fiancée Paige Butcher, the 58-year-old revealed, "We're engaged... eventually, soon... She is right there with me all the time."
When Renee pointed out Eddie is a father 10 times over, he replied, "Ten children and one grandchild. I'm quite the fellow."