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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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July 2010 - January 2013
Charlie Murphy says Obama’s Fair Game
Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Our nation’s 44th president may have just taken office this week, but according to Charlie Murphy he’s already fair game for comedians. “Why would he be off limits,” the funnyman queries, “I got Obama jokes and I think everybody’s got a little Obama joke right now.” The legendary comedian and actor continued, noting “obviously Obama’s not gonna be the kind of guy you can make the type of jokes you made about Bush, you ain’t gonna be able to claim he’s stupid or anything like that, but as time unfolds and as incidents take place the way he handles them is gonna create fodder.” Fodder for folks like Murphy, who feel when it comes to comedy, “nothing should be off limits.”

Murphy’s no limits, no holds barred, style of comedy has been helping him build an audience since his days as Gusto in CB4, but every once in a while an audience member feels he goes too far. His response to that extremely small population of folks - too bad. “I was in Utah,” he remembers, “and I was on stage doing standup and there was a woman in the audience who said hey, hey, hey, hey, this is Utah, you can’t talk like that! And I said, I’m a comedian and we’re in a comedy club, we’re not in church, bitch.” The audience cracked up, proving they were entirely on Murphy’s side. “I don’t have to worry about who’s offended,” he explains, “because for every one person that’s offended there’s 100 that love it. For every one person that’s trippin, saying I can’t believe he said that, there’s 100 going wow, I’m glad he said that.”

People’s ability to both handle and enjoy a harsher, more real, style of humor is, according to Murphy, a direct result of cable television. Murphy knows a thing or two about cable TV after his time on Chappelle’s Show and he sees plenty of advantages to the medium. Unfortunately, he hasn’t seen anyone step up to be that real voice since Chappelle’s Show left the air. “The only person who really got a chance to try to fill the void in the cable world was Carlos Mencia and he didn’t do it, he didn’t pull it off.”

Even with no one currently on cable being able to fill the void that Chappelle’s Show left, Murphy says the program created an appetite in people for a rawer brand of comedy, an appetite he plans on satiating online with his latest endeavor, a series of webcasts that will be debuting in March titled Charlie Murphy Crash Comedy. He says the shows will be “sketch comedy without restrictions.” “I was like you know what, I’m gonna give the people that liked me what made them like me. I’m gonna give them more of that. Through that people will see you didn’t start like liking me on Chappelle’s Show by accident. I didn’t just get lucky like oh he was on Chappelle’s Show and he came in on Dave’s coattails, or whatever. That was me and you liked me because of me, not because of Dave, not because of Eddie Murphy, not because of Chris Rock, not because of any of those guys. Just like you like them because of them, you like me because of me.”

The “me” of Charlie Murphy will be on display even more so this fall with the release of his autobiography, tentatively titled The Making of a Stand Up Guy. He says the book will be, “everything you always wanted to know about Charlie Murphy in 300 pages” and will detail many of the growing pains he experienced in both film and comedy. “You ain’t dealing with somebody who went straight from 0-60,” he says of his career, “I went one mile an hour, two miles an hour, three, four, every increment of speed increase I had to stand there and land on it and deal with it.” Murphy states he’s actually thankful for his elongated journey to stardom, saying “there are skills that come along with time. You develop over time and if you don’t do that you’re not gonna be the real article.” His slow build now has him doing almost everything, including an upcoming series of commercials for Nike where he will be bringing lifelong Michael Jordan nemesis/inspiration, Leroy Smith, to life.

Undoubtedly one of the busiest men in showbiz, Charlie Murphy can’t help but smile when he says “my best True Hollywood Story is about me.”

Story originally ran in the NewHavenAdvocate.

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