Kevin Hart may be one of the most popular Black stand-up comedians today but, at one time, a young, leather jumpsuit-clad Eddie Murphy dominated the stand-up scene. His acclaimed “Eddie Murphy Raw” (1987) captured the attention and laughter of critics and audiences alike, with Murphy drawing comparisons to a young Richard Pryor.
Filmed live in New York City, the film finds Murphy instigating everything from the “innate” unfaithfulness in men to the pseudo bravado of Italian-Americans after watching the “Rocky” film series. “All right Rocky! All right Sly,” he screams in a thick Italian accent, before performing a scene where two characters engage in a culture clash, dispelling all stereotypes that had previously been set up.
It’s this kind of raunchy, non-PC humor that helped shape Murphy’s brand of stand-up. Nothing was ever too sacred or controversial to laugh at in that skit, or even in another where Murphy transforms into his childhood self, craving a fast food hamburger from a mother who was sure she could cook one “better than McDonald’s.” What follows is a thorough, hilarious story that borders on comedic genius.
What are your favorite stand-up moments from “Raw”? Or can you think of another stand-up routine that deserves more kudos?
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