Who do you get to honor Eddie Murphy? Well, of course you get as many funny people as you can find. On the Spike TV tribute “Eddie Murphy: One Night Only” airing Wednesday November 14 at 10 p.m., the 51-year-old comic is saluted by his brother Charlie, Martin Lawrence, Russell Brand, Arsenio Hall, Brett Ratner, Tracy Morgan, Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Foxx and Stevie Wonder in a two-hour retrospective of Murphy’s greatest comic hits.
Most of Murphy’s career – from his standup classics like “Delirious” and “Raw” to his time on “Saturday Night Live” to a film career that includes the “Beverly Hills Cop” movies, “The Nutty Professor” movies, the “48 Hours” movies and more is featured. The focus is on the positive, though, as Murphy’s biggest bombs and his warm and fuzzier kids’ movies are glossed over if not excluded from the tribute outright. The all-star group of comedians drew big laughs from Murphy himself by sharing anecdotes of times with Murphy. Rock got a particularly big response by recounting the story of a night out in New York with Murphy and his entourage when Rock was still on the rise.
Murphy is also remembered as the catalyst for launching several big stars including Jackson who began his film career in 1998 in “Coming to America.” While Halle Berry wasn’t there, Murphy’s 1992 “Boomerang” which also featured Robin Givens and Eartha Kitt was one of the films that made her a big name. Martin Lawrence’s early career was boosted by his appearance in “Boomerang” and he later starred in “Life” with Murphy.
But if you thought this would be an opportunity to see Murphy do some impromptu standup again, it didn’t happen despite Hall’s best efforts. Murphy said he’d put that aside a long time ago. On his part, he was grateful for the tribute but also seemed a little embarrassed by it. When he got on state to acknowledge the attention paid to his accomplishments, he was grateful but humble.
“You know what this is like? You ever have somebody sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to you, but for like two hours? ‘Eddie, you’re so wonderful. Eddie, Eddie, Eddie.’ I am Eddie-d out. I don’t know how you all must feel.’”
Watch clips from “Eddie Murphy: One Night Only” below.