We all love Amy Schumer, everyone knows how brilliant Key & Peele are, and you’ve watched Will Ferrell’s classic Saturday Night Live sketches countless of times. But in this weekly column Sketchy MVPs, The Laugh Button shines a light on comedians from our favorites shows and troupes who don’t often get rightful credit for their contributions to sketch comedy.
The comedy world is still morning the loss of Charlie Murphy. His gift for story-telling and blunt approach to humor made him a beloved figure amongst fans and fellow comedians. And nowhere was Murphy’s comedic talent best displayed than on Chappelle’s Show.
As we mentioned in a profile on Donnell Rawlings, Dave Chappelle was certainly the star of his own Comedy Central show. But Murphy’s ability to play characters as raw as himself, as well as his recounts of bizarre encounters with equally bizarre superstars, provided some of the show’s standout moments. You could argue that Murphy and Chappelle really brought the best out of each other, which makes Chappelle’s tribute to his former collaborator even more emotional.
So in honor of Murphy, take a look back at a few of our favorite moments from his time on Chappelle’s Show below.
“The Mad Real World”
This parody of The Real World may be the best introduction to Murphy’s work on Chappelle’s Show. You quickly realize how lucky the actual cast of the MTV reality staple is that they aren’t roommates with a guy like Tyree, who went to prison and will literally sleep with your girlfriend if given the chance … while you’re still in the room.
“Player Hater’s Ball”
What’s even funnier than watching Murphy portray player hater Buc Nasty in the original HBO documentary parody? Watching Murphy get into character as Buc Nasty while filming a cut sketch where player haters travel back in time to confront a slave owner.
It’s hard to imagine anyone but Murphy voicing Stinky, an even grumpier version of Oscar the Grouch on Chappelle’s take on Sesame Street… in Stinky’s defense, though, we’d be pretty grumpy if we had a syringe in our heads too.
“Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories”
“I’m Rick James, bitch!” One of the most famous phrases to come from Chappelle’s Show, and it was all thanks to Murphy retelling his over-the-top encounters with the “Super Freak” singer while roaming the 80’s nightlife scene with his brother Eddie. Of course everyone loves Chappelle’s portrayal of Rick James, but it’s Murphy (or Darkness, as James somewhat lovingly refers to him) and his delivery that makes such a too-crazy-to-be-true tale seem plausible (well, it also helped that Rick James himself appears in the sketch to essentially confirmed Murphy’s story through contradictory statements).
However, while Murphy’s story on Rick James was beloved for highlighting excessive behavior, his story on Prince is a must watch because of how simply bizarre it is. By the time Murphy (after describing how Prince whipped his butt in basketball in his full signature getup, mind you) gets to the point of the story where Prince serves them all pancakes, you’re left thinking to yourself “…Wait, WHAT?!” Again, another too-crazy-to-be-true tale that Murphy’s honest delivery makes you realize it really did happen. It’s the type of story-telling that made Murphy so cherished.