Eddie Murphy cringes at some of his early stand-up routines because he cannot believe how much he used to get away with.
The Coming to America star is preparing to return to the comedy stage for the first time in over three decades for a Netflix special, but the funnyman insists his new material won’t be as controversial as his earlier work, having previously drawn criticism for cracking jokes about women, AIDS, and homosexuality.
Now a father-of-10, Murphy the Today Show,
“Last time I did stand-up, I was 27 years old. I look at some of my old stuff and cringe… Sometimes it’s just, ‘I can’t believe I said that! Oh my God!’
“I’m 58 now so I don’t think I’m going to approach it the same way.”
Murphy plans to check out his peers by visiting a number of comedy clubs as he prepares for his live return, but he insists his method of coming up with jokes remains unchanged:
“I would just do the same things I always did because I never wrote stuff out on paper,” he shared.
“I would be having a conversation and say something funny, and I’d go, ‘Oh, that’s funny,’ and I’d try it onstage, and I’ve always done that, that’s never stopped; I just stopped taking it to the stage.”
Murphy previously found stand-up success with his 1980s TV special Delirious, and concert film, Eddie Murphy: Raw, which featured a number of tongue-in-cheek quips.
In 1996, he apologized for his more controversial Raw jokes, and for using homophobic slurs, and in a more recent interview with The New York Times, he confessed he was dealing with a “broken heart” at the time of the recording, and was “kind of an a**hole”.