I remember back in the 1980’s when Eddie Murphy was a funny stand-up comedian. These days, if you want to hear an Eddie Murphy joke, you have to watch Shrek part four. What happened to Eddie Murphy?
I’m not joking about Shrek. That really is Eddie Murphy’s most successful franchise. The original Shrek movie was made for $60 Million, and it grossed $484 Million worldwide. [Source: Shrek – Wikipedia. Downloaded October 20, 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shrek] Not bad. Eddie Murphy does the voice of the donkey, and he is pretty funny. At first I thought the donkey was Chris Rock, though – he really does sound a little Chris Rock-ish.
But here’s my point: What happened to turn Eddie Murphy from a raw stand-up comedian into a voice artist in children’s films (he also did Mulan)?
During the early 1980’s, Eddie Murphy was part of the cast of Saturday Night Live, and was probably the funniest person on the show. His peak as an adult actor occurred during the 1980’s. His first movie, 48 Hours, was a success, and he followed it up with class comedies like Beverly Hill Cop and Trading Places. Then his career hit two slumps: first, in the early 1990’s, and then in the early 2000’s. In both periods, his made-for-adults films did very poorly. In the latter slump, though, he discovered that he could be a successful family film star. So that’s the direction he moved in. [Eddie Murphy – Wikipedia. Downloaded October 20, 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Murphy]
I’m not saying that Eddie Murphy has no potential as an adult actor. As you will recall, he was nominated for an academy award (best supporting actor) for Dream Girls. But, like Steve Martin, he has made the transition from SNL to classic comedies to family films.
Eddie Murphy – Wikipedia. Downloaded October 20, 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Murphy.
Shrek – Wikipedia. Downloaded October 20, 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shrek.