CHARLIE MURPHY TAKES US ON AN ACID TRIP
If you’ve already heard of Charlie Murphy then you’re in for a treat. If you haven’t, you’ll wish you had after reading this. If you didn’t know, Eddie Murphy is his brother and he is every bit as talented, has so much of his own potential and definitely has his own style. He started gathering the right kind of attention and acclaim with his work on the U.S TV hit Chappelle’s Show. Since then he’s released DVDs, toured, been in many movies including ‘Night at the Museum’ and is hopping over to pay us a visit next month to perform his new show ‘Acid Trip’. We are a lucky bunch. Here is what he had to say to us when we gave him a call…
Charlie Murphy! What’s going on man?
Right now, what’s going on is I’m alone in my house watching the news man, in case something I can take to the stage occurs, or something I have already taken to the stage has progressed.
You’re not the only comedian in your family. Is funny in the Murphy blood? Are there any more to watch out for?
Oh absolutely man yeah. My Dad was a comedian. He never became famous for it, nor was he able to make a living from it, but there are a whole gang of us. There’s a whole new generation of us. My niece has been on TV several times – she’s one of the spokesmodels for ‘Dark and Lovely’ hair products. My nephews, Eric and Christian, are doing music. Yeah, look forward to seeing some more Murphy’s. My son Charlie is an actor, my son Xavier has dabbled in comedy but he’s only 13 so he doesn’t know what he wants to do. But there are going to be some more Murphy’s man, definitely.
Chappelle’s Show has received so much praise by critics with its unique brand of comedy that mixes both stand-up and “hellacious” sketches. What was it like working on such a popular show?
Liberating man! I had done several things prior to Chappelle’s Show and people saw my work, but I wasn’t that ‘out of the box’ per se. People had seen me in a few things, but they still thought I was Eddie Murphy’s brother. If I worked on a movie, everybody else that was in the movie was themselves but I was Eddie Murphy’s brother. I probably should have knocked it out of the way, but, at the same time, it’s human nature. It’s not fair, but human nature is life. If people see an example of success in a family or a blood-line, whatever, whoever it is attributed too, they all just assume that they are the only one who has anything you know and everyone else is just trash. And that’s not true, but they do that automatically and it definitely wasn’t true in my case. So Chappelle Show took that away from the public. There was no room to go ‘oh, its Eddie Murphy’s brother’ because everybody would be saying ‘Charlie Murphy!’ Some people have a nickname, but it was my own name they were yelling at me which took that spell off me. I was able to be called my own name. I had some times where people would come up to me and go ‘you’re Eddie Murphy’s brother right?’ and I’d say ‘Do you have a dog?’ and they’d look at me strange and I’d say ‘What do you call your dog? You call him by his name right?’ Well I’m not ‘a dog’, but then they’d get it. They didn’t come over trying to intentionally be disrespectful, but it goes on man. They see celebrities and they get nervous and do something that isn’t smart. In that case, even before I was a celebrity, I wouldn’t allow you to come and lower me even by accident, by calling me out of my name. If I do that to a woman, that’s called disrespectful right? It’s the same thing. If you don’t call me Charlie, which is the name with which I was born, you call me something else, because of somebody else’s accomplishments in the world, then you have to be prepared to meet my presence!
What is Dave Chappelle like as a person?
Very cool and very open. He didn’t have an ego. A lot of people are unapproachable. If a guy is known for humour and you come to him with yours, he’s likely to be like ‘how dare you tell me what’s funny.’ You know what I’m saying? But he wasn’t like that. If he liked something, he liked it. It was because of him that I was even seen. When I was on Chappelle’s Show I wasn’t under contract. I got paid 500 dollars an episode! That’s how much I got paid to be on the show, but it was because Dave was demanding me, saying ‘we’re using him again’. What took the show to the level it got to, I had a lot to do with that.
Apart from Dave you’ve worked with such big names such as Spike Lee and Ben Stiller. Is there anyone else you want to work with?
Anybody that’s good! Anybody that’s talented! I want to work with the best, man! In this profession there are some really top level people you get to meet and that’s who I want to work with.
What has been the best part of your year so far?
This year? The stand-up. I’ve done the TV stuff here and there, a little writing, but the stand-up is what has been persistent and the last 12 months have really made my 2012. Right now were getting ready to travel from the North Pole to the South Pole (figuratively). We went from Iceland to Auckland, in New Zealand. We’ve done Canada, Scandinavia, Australia and now were getting ready to come to the UK. It’s a completion. By then I will have been to 11 countries. To me, that is a tremendous accomplishment as a stand-up comedian and something I will be proud of for the rest of my career. I put together a show and it took me all over the world.
What can the UK audiences expect?
Laughs! I mean that’s why you go to a comedy store, right? *laughs* You expect to laugh! And if you want a definition of me, there’s plenty of me. I had a DVD out in 2009, ‘I Will Not Apologise’. I have pages full of material, videos on YouTube and a website. If you want a definition of me, it’s better for you to make up your own mind. I have the audience behind me to testify for what I’ve done. Type my name into YouTube and see all of the places in the world I’ve been to, all of the fans, and one thing that will be persistent in those videos is that everybody who came to my show had a good time. That’s all I’m charged with doing, and that’s what you can expect when you come to my show.
Top man! So, how do you enjoy personal time?
Rest! That’s what you’re supposed to do! There are people who beat their heads against the wall going ‘Aaah, I’m bored!’ but when there’s nothing to do then it was written for you that that’s when you’re supposed to take a break. Follow the lead. Take a nap, rest your body and rest your mind. Go find a place to sit down and think and go over your plans for your future. There’s always something to do.
Inspiring words, I’ll surely be heeding that advice. Hurry along to get tickets to go see Charlie and join the huge pile of fans he has worldwide. Get yo’ bad self over to: http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/Charlie-Murphy-tickets/artist/928068
For a taster of the man himself, check out this video. Has me in stitches every time: