Charlie Murphy brings stand-up comedy to Fat Fish BlueWritten by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
With a stand-up comedy tour, a new special, appearances in no less than three upcoming movies, Internet sketches, a soon-to-be-released book, and giving an interview and eating breakfast at the same time — it’s safe to say that Charlie Murphy is a busy man.
The past few years have been a rocket ride for Murphy. Known in the ’80s primarily for being Eddie’s brother and a part of his entourage, he began to carve his own identity as a cast member on Dave Chappelle’s legendary (and much-missed) Comedy Central show. As he prepares for his appearances at the Funny Bone in Perrysburg from Nov. 20 to Nov. 22, he finds himself with a tremendously full plate — and some sadly poor memories of his first gig in the Glass City area.
“The last time I played Toledo, it was with a local promoter who’s not involved with it this time, and the guy actually filmed my show without my permission and tried to put bootleg DVDs out,” Murphy said.
Not a stellar first impression for our area. But Murphy’s return gig promises to be a more positive one and, if our talk is any indication, those at the Funny Bone are in for a real treat. Murphy’s comedic persona is not a far cry from the person I talked to.
Can you describe your comedy act for those who haven’t seen it before, I asked?
“It’s funny,” he replied. And that’s all he needed to say.
But his sense of humor is tempered by realism. Murphy has worn many hats in his career — in addition to stand-up comedy, he has written movies, performed in movies, acted on television and more.
Which gives you the most satisfaction, creatively, I asked?
“None of them, they’re all the same,” Murphy said. “I’ve worn different hats because I wanted to. The thing is, if the performing thing isn’t working for you anymore, you gotta pay the rent, you gotta pay bills.”
But the “performing thing” clearly is working for Murphy these days. In the years since the Chappelle Show’s unexpected end, Murphy has appeared in a ton of movies (he’s recently wrapped “Lottery Ticket” with Bow Wow, “Cookout 2” with Faison Love and “Family Wedding” with Forest Whitaker and America Ferrera), TV shows (a Comedy Central special and subsequent DVD release will be out in February) and even a hilarious series of Nike commercials as Leroy Smith, the childhood “inspiration/nemesis” of Michael Jordan.
Murphy has also been working on a series of videos for Crackle.com, “Charlie Murphy’s Crash Comedy.” Unlike some other comedians/entertainers, Murphy embraces the Internet as a refuge for talents to make their names.
Perhaps the biggest thing on the horizon for Murphy is his book, “The Making of a Stand-Up Guy,” which comes out on Dec. 1. He’s clearly excited about its release, though getting it to paper was difficult. “The process of writing the book was kind of aggravating, man,” Murphy said. “The book was being written about the same time I was gearing up for my one-hour special. So, I had the special, working on the book, doing shows … very little sleep.”
But, Murphy has no intentions of slowing down any time soon, including his Funny Bone gig starting on the 20th. “I can’t wait to come to Toledo, man. Last time I was there, it was a great show. When I first played Toledo, it was my first year doing stand-up. I’m a much different artist from the one you’ve seen then. And I can’t wait to come back there.”
For more information on Murphy’s shows at the Funny Bone, visit http://www.funnybonefatfishtoledo.com/.