In an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Friday, Eddie Murphy hinted at a return to standup comedy and gave a flawless impersonation of fellow funnyman Tracy Morgan.
Murphy stopped by the late-night television show to promote his upcoming drama Mr. Church, but he spoke to Jimmy Kimmel about a variety of topics.
One of the interview’s highlights was his recount of a conversation with comedian/actor Tracy Morgan. Kimmel said Morgan told him that after his nearly fatal car crash in June 2014, Murphy was the first person to make him laugh again. Kimmel made an attempt to imitate Morgan while recounting the story, but Murphy gave an impersonation that sounded exactly like the Saturday Night Live and30 Rock star’s distinctive cadence.
Kimmel also brought up Murphy’s acceptance speech for the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize, which included an impersonation of disgraced comedian Bill Cosby. Murphy has impersonated the likes of Cosby, James Brown and Richard Pryor in his classic standup comedy films Raw and Delirious, so the conversation turned to standup.
Murphy’s supporters always ask him to return to standup, but Kimmel pointed out that it isn’t as easy as it seems. Murphy agreed, saying that he would have to go back to comedy clubs to get the feel of audiences, and exercise to be in working condition. Kimmel said, “but you’re not doing that stuff, right?” Murphy responded by saying “I might,” causing the crowd to roar their support.
“I haven’t done it in so long. So much has changed. I’m curious, what would even come out? I don’t even know what it would be like,” he said. “I don’t have any leather suits.”
This isn’t the first time that Murphy has hinted a return to standup comedy. He has said repeatedly that he is constantly writing jokes, and that he has considered a return to the art form. Many comedians start out doing standup, but leave the format behind once they land TV shows and feature films. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that Murphy goes all in.
Watch the video below to hear Eddie Murphy describe how he first began standup comedy at age 15 – and give another dead-on impersonation, of brother Charlie Murphy.