Charlie Murphy was once known only as the older brother of comedy legend Eddie Murphy. As a part of Eddie’s entourage and security detail, Charlie also turned up in bit roles and cameos in many of his brother’s films. During the last decade, however, Charlie has slowly stepped out of Eddie’s imposing shadow. In addition to larger roles in hit films like CB4, Kings Ransom and Roll Bounce, Charlie became one of the standout players in Dave Chappelle’s brilliant and hilarious Chappelle’s Show, on Comedy Central.
Charlie Murphy’s main contribution to the show was creating and writing perhaps it’s funniest sketch, “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories.” The most popular being the Rick James story, with Murphy as himself and Chappelle as the drug addled Rick James, including incidents such as James slapping Murphy, interspersed with scenes of the present-day Rick James, explaining his past behavior, saying, “Cocaine’ s a hell of a drug.” The sketch spawned one of the show’s popular catchphrases–” I’m Rick James, bitch!”– which Chappelle as James (and every moronic white guy on earth) declared, over and over and over again .
When Dave Chappelle went MIA after filming only three episodes of the third season, deciding he could no longer handle the grind of a weekly show, Murphy had to take advantage and strike while he was still generating some heat, and take advantage he did.
His newfound popularity has led to a successful stand-up career as well as creating a name for himself as a screenwriter, having co-written the hit film Norbit with brother Eddie. Charlie Q. Murphy, as he is sometimes known, is also a well-respected voice-over artist. According to imdb.com (internet movie database), Murphy has no less than 6 feature films in production or completed for the rest of 2007, or slated for release in 2008. He stars in the film Twisted Fortune and the upcoming Three Days To Vegas with legends Peter Falk and Rip Torn. Charlie has also just finished taping his first season of BET’s hit We Got To Do Better
SoHo Journal: You must be exhausted. You’ve just returned from performing in Stockholm, Sweden, We Got To Do Better is a hit on BET and you’re making more and more appearances on the big screen.
Charlie Murphy: I’m married and I have two kids. You have stress when you leave and you have stress when you go home. But it could be worse. The other day, I was watching this thing on A&E. They showed this dude in a maximum security prison. He said, “This place sucks. They feed you horrible food. They keep the lights off 24 hours a day. They’re all about breaking balls seven days a week, day in and day out. Break the man down! Break the man down!” The interviewer asks, “Why are you in here?” The guy responds, “I killed two cops.”
SJ: When you go to places like Stockholm, Sweden, is any of the humor lost on the audience? Continue Reading »