Sing it with me everyone: ‘My girl likes to party all the time, party all the time, party all the time!’
Except in this case, replace the words ‘my girl’ with ‘Eddie Murphy’, and the words ‘party all the time’ with ‘record a brand new Netflix stand-up special for millions of dollars!’
Perhaps better known these days for his roles as Donkey in the Shrek films, the titular doctor in Dr Doolittle, and basically every character in The Nutty Professor films, there was a time when Eddie Murphy was top dog in the stand-up scene, and fans have for years wondered whether he’d ever return to the comedy stage.
Now, it seems fans may not have to wonder much longer, as reports are coming in of Murphy’s return to stand-up by way of a lucrative deal with streaming giant Netflix.
According to TMZ, sources close to Murphy say he has been in talks with Netflix for ‘an undisclosed number of comedy specials’, said to hovering around the $70 million (£56 million) mark.
It’s not the first time Netflix has paid out top dollar for comedy specials, as Dave Chappelle reportedly struck a deal of $60 million for three specials, and Chris Rock earned around $40 million for two specials. The streaming service also recently cashed in on a deal with Jerry Seinfeld for $100 million, which included a new series of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, along with two new stand-up shows from the comedian, The Guardian reports.
In fact, you can watch Murphy discuss the subject with Seinfeld in a trailer for the show here:
During the clip, Murphy reveals how a conversation with the late Don Rickles persuaded him to get back into stand-up comedy, saying Rickles went ‘on and on and on’ for him to do it.
However, putting rumours to bed, Eddie tells Jerry: ‘I’m going to do it again. Everything just has to be right. You have to get up there and start working out,’ referring to the comedy clubs.
Murphy hasn’t been seen on the live comedy scene since the late 1980s, when the release of his concert film Eddie Murphy Raw grossed around $50 million.
Since then, the 58-year-old has focused on films (and a part-time music career), going on to star in the Beverly Hills Cop franchise, Trading Places with Dan Ackroyd, Coming to America, Dreamgirls, Tower Heist and a host of others.
Though it seems like he’s not rushing into releasing a stand-up special any time soon, his eventual return to the stage will no doubt be welcomed by many.
UNILAD has reached out to Netflix for comment.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.