Well, it’s one of those things we’ve wanted for years and were never sure would happen again, but Eddie Murphy said that he will return to stand-up comedy and tour in 2020. Until the last few weeks, this might’ve seen impossible news, but Murphy is currently on a pretty creative high that we haven’t seen in a while. From his new Netflix movie, Dolemite Is My Name, the news of Coming To America 2, to his conversations with Jerry Seinfeld as they were in cars getting coffee, followed by a reported $70 million offer to return to stand-up, and news of him hosting Saturday Night Live for the first time in 35 years. Murphy’s stock is the highest its been in years and it looks like that’s enough to get him back on the stand-up stage.
Murphy taped an episode of the Netflix podcast, Present Company with Krista Smith. While it served as a reason for him to talk about the Dolemite film the conversation led to a variety of different topics, from his comedic influences, his brother Charlie, his work ethic, and current interests.
About halfway through the podcast Murphy, casually laid out his next few months of work stating that after Dolemite comes out he starts work on Coming to America 2, then hosting SNL, then he simply stated, “… and then next year in 2020 I’m going to go on the road and do some stand-up” (about minute 25 on the podcast).
Words comedy fans have been waiting years to hear! He’s said that he has the itch, but never used words as definitive as those made on this podcast.
While it’s surprising to hear this, the goodwill Murphy’s been getting lately probably helped. We partook in many conversations with friends, comedians, and other fans about what they thought it would take to get him back on the stage. Many (including the comedians) concluded that Murphy just needed to get some confidence back, make a few audiences laugh (even just having a conversation), that might be all it takes for a diehard comedian to get the itch to get on stage again.
Murphy semi-confirmed this notion by stating in the interview that people would often check on him and they’d only be doing that because at some point he made them laugh. Later adding, “I don’t think there’s a higher calling in entertainment than making people laugh.”
One of the most recent examples of this is when he received the Mark Twain Prize For Humor in 2015. Murphy just spoke from the heart and while just being his natural self managed to be funnier than most of us wished we could be in our entire lifetime. Even while taking more than a few jabs at a besmirched Bill Cosby – who if you’d remember used to give Murphy a lot of hell for his material when he first rose to stardom.