Eddie Murphy has been rightly named one of the best stand-up comedians of all time. He has been bringing smiles to people’s faces for the past 35 years and it is high time the favor be returned to him. And Kathy Griffin is going to be the one to do it.
She shared a photo on Instagram that features several posters from Murphy’s successful career, and captioned it, “Giddy 2B a presenter @KenCen #MarkTwainPrize2015 [sic].” Her hashtag gives away the award that will be bestowed upon him—the Kennedy Center’s 18th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, which will be presented by Griffin to 54-year-old Eddie Murphy.
It is also reported that Griffin, also 54, will show snippets from Murphy’s 1982 Tonight Show, which was his debut act. The gala will applaud the The Nutty Professor actor for his “gutsy approach” to stand-up comedy.
Griffin also recognizes the Mark Twain award as the highest honor that can be given to a comedian, due to the Academy Awards’ alleged negligence towards them. Her point might be valid, given that in all his years making films, Murphy has received only one Oscar nomination for his performance in the 2006 hit musical Dreamgirls.
Although Murphy has been keeping a fairly low profile in the past few years, he revealed in a recent interview with The Washington Post that he’s got a few interesting projects in the works, including a possible new album, a small-budget film directed by Bruce Beresford, scriptwriting for three more movies, and an HBO-aimed production about controversial politician Marion Barry.
Murphy also revealed that he’s been thinking about returning to the stage to do stand-up comedy, something he hasn’t done since the late ‘80s. Although he’s never worried about being funny enough to do it, he has struggled with the idea of what his new on-stage persona would be like, saying, “It’s never been, ‘I wonder if I’m funny. I wonder if I can come up with jokes.’ It’s more, ‘What would it be like without the leather suit and the anger?’”
Kathy Griffin, Instagram post, October 16, 2015.
Miller, S., “Eddie Murphy Honored with Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize,” Variety web site, October 15, 2015.
Edgers, G., “The Real King of Comedy,” The Washington Post web site, October 13, 2015.