At Brainstain, even on the slowest of news days, there’s always a good chance somebody interesting was born on that very day. Today is Eddie Murphy’s birthday, “Happy Birthday Eddie”. One of the true great stand up comics and most engaging comedy-action actors of a generation.
Eddie was born on April 3rd 1961, in Brooklyn, New York, and by age fifteen he was a renowned local stand up comedian in his native city and with his witty humour and popular celebrity impressions, it wasn’t long before he was scouted by Saturday Night Live and at age 19, he joined the show.
On SNL, he was a trailblazer, breaking down barriers with his no-nonsense comedy and you could say he was the Michael Jordan of comics, making the show come alive and he often pushed the topics of race. Everyone could see that he was a star on the rise and he exuded tons of confidence, natural swagger and with his characteristic laugh, he became well-loved by all of America, plus he was penning some amazing sketch work. Let’s take a look at some of his earlier SNL work, below.
Quite a performance there from Mr. White, and it was with performances like these, where he was beginning to be sought out into Hollywood feature films, like with ’48 Hrs’, opposite Nick Nolte, then ‘Trading Places’, then ‘Beverly Hills Cop’, where he plays everyone’s favourite nonchalant cop from Detroit, Axel Foley. Eddie Murphy started a series of collaborative works with director John Landis, which also saw him star in two sequels for the ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ film franchise and him also starring in the unforgettable ‘Coming to America’ film. about Prince Akeem’s journey to find his royal wife in Queens, NYC, to bring her back to the kingdom of Zamunda. Eddie famously played three other characters in the same film, in a disguise, enabling him to extend his comedic talents via different characters. Can you spot all the Eddie’s?
His talent to be unrecognisable in disguised roles, added to his celebrity stock and it was these talents, which shot him into the idea and the two films of ‘The Nutty Professor’, but an often overlooked quality to Eddie was his ability to take on other complicated leading roles, his versatility in the field, meant we could also enjoy him in films like, ‘Boomerang’, playing Marcus, a suave brand Executive and womaniser, let’s see this great scene alongside Grace Jones.
Amazing scene, amazing film! However, Eddie stumbled in a few films that were less than well received, such as ‘Vampire in Brooklyn’, ‘Bowfinger’ and ‘Pluto Nash’, but that didn’t stop him from carrying on strong and landing the role as the voice of “Donkey” in ‘Shrek’.
Eddie has been at the top of his game since the early 1980’s, as one of America’s greatest all around bankable stars and with the reported rumours of ‘Beverly Hills Cop IV’ on the horizon, we could well see Eddie Murphy back up at the very top, once again. Who wouldn’t want to see Axel Foley one last time? But, let’s see Eddie in his element, way before he became the unspoken folklore hero on ‘The Dave Chappelle Show’ sketches, this was the type of unapologetic stand up comedy that made him unbeatable.
Let’s take a moment to celebrate Eddie today. The Don!
Happy Birthday to Eddie Murphy! One of the baddest to ever do it!
Have a great day!
<Story by The Narrator>
Featured Photo Credit: Kontrol Magazine