If you think that you know Charlie Murphy from his entertaining and hysterical stories from the Chappelle show, think again.
Charlie has a ton of huge movies under his belt, a stand-up career that's been entertaining crowds worldwide for over ten years, and this Thursday through Sunday, he is bringing his "real" style of comedy to the Irvine Improv!
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): You've been in tons of movies but my personal fav is your roll as "Gusto" in one of my all-time favorite movies, CB4.
Charlie Murphy: Yeah. That movie still packs it punch. It's still funny and it's still relevant. I still get compliments on Twitter and Facebook about it all of the time!
Seriously, why no sequel?
Oh you gotta ask Chris Rock that! I mean I brought the subject up but at the time, Chris Rock was a leading man. Maybe he thinks about doing it now, but who knows?
You've been so successful with stand-up and with movies. Do have a preference with one over the other?
I prefer stand-up but it's not the most convenient thing. The most convenient thing to do is to have a TV show because you report to the same location until you get the job done, then go home and relax. It's convenient you know? Or if you're doing a movie in one or a couple of locations, that's good too. Stand-up is a different location every week and some of them aren't even by each other! Recently we were in Miami and the following weekend we were in Iceland.
Do you have to rewrite any of your material based on location?
No. This is what I do. When I go to do a show anywhere it's not like I'm totally unaware of why I'm there. I know I'm there because people like Charlie Murphy. They want to see Charlie Murphy and that's before the jokes. So I don't change my joke because my jokes are me. I wrote my own jokes and I think they're funny and that is as close as I can give you to me. It's work for me to try to water something down or redirect the energy. It usually works against me. I handle a heckler the same way I do here as I do in Oslo, Norway. The only difference is that if a riot would have broken out in Oslo, I wouldn't even know which direction to run! I wouldn't even know which way to get back to the hotel! So I have the same confidence there that I have here and they love it.
Ha! I personally think that people come out for more than just your name, I think they love your career. So what did you get into for New Years?
That's what's up. We spent New Year's at the Houston Improv and it was incredible. I'm just trying to figure out how to get the crowd to scream like that every night. I've never heard them scream that loud before but it was New Year's Eve you know. If you can get people to scream like that on January 13th you're really doing something.
You'll have to get some corks popping in Irvine! I hear the people in Houston know how to party though...
Yeah they popped bottled there and blew those horns. It was comedy club but there were also strippers on the stage. And how did they manage it? We didn't pay for no strippers to show up! I don't know where it came from but I just happened to go, "This is a Charlie Murphy show and I know there are some strippers in here right now. When we do the countdown, if you're a stripper I want you to come up on stage and drop it like it's hot!"
Then they put the music on and sure enough, there were eight of them in there! It was crazy because the audience was buggin' out like, how did he know they were in here? I didn't know though! I just said it and they came up! They dropped the ball and everyone went crazy and the strippers butts were clapping. Man it was incredible.
I believe in Houston they are called skrippers, with a K. I've been seeing a lot of your videos on-line. I love the behind the scenes aspect.
Skrippers? Like with a sk-rippers. [Laughs.] Yeah the videos are good so you can see how the show is going. We didn't want to hear, "I heard about the show." No, here's the proof right here, here's what happened. I should have been doing those videos since I began. I've always had good turn out's and I could've had this same thing going on the whole time! I realized it when I did this Acid Trip Tour that the videos promote it. It's just gonna make it bigger and bigger!
Well it's fun to watch you off stage just be yourself. I think the fans love that.
Yeah, we got some new stuff coming up. We've got Arlington and New Year's for the Acid Trip promos, those are the last of that series. There are 10 videos all together for the tour. Now it's 2012 and the Acid Trip Tour is continuing but it's gonna turn another page for 2012. We're gonna keep grinding until we do a global live feed concert. That's what we're putting together now. Some real big shit that goes to Constitution Hall in DC, or something like that. I'm trying to put together a reunion with myself, Donnell Rawlings, and Bill Burr because we went out together on the "Rich Bitch" tour. It'd be big. I know it can be big! We've all evolved as comedians since the Chappelle Show and become much better comedians with crazy experiences. For us to come back together for one night would be huge.
I'd love that! Can you make sure the reunion makes it way out to Irvine please?
Yeah! That's what I'm saying. I want to start it off at Constitution Hall though. I'm huge whenever I go to DC, I always sell out. I've always had great shows there. Then I want to step it up and set it off and based on the success of it, move it around the country because I think it can be big in a whole lot of places. You know what I'm saying?
Oh I know what you're saying! What's the deal with your book "The Making of a Stand-Up Guy?"
My book is available on on-line and we sell them at shows too. Everywhere we go we circulate it. It's a good book. In my opinion it was not promoted right. What I mean by that is, I remember how hot my name was when it was being put together. And I remember how un-hot some featured books were at the front of the store. My book was hidden. You had to ask for my book! The initial sales in the stores were weak and there was no book signing. I don't where to point the finger but I do a great job of selling it myself.
I agree totally because I learned about your book from someone talking about it on Twitter! So do you have plans for another in the works?
Yeah see? Exactly! It makes no sense. Trust me, there'll be plenty more books but I learned from my first book!
I know you like to stay busy so what else are you working on these days?
Yep! I don't know the exact date but my movie "Guys Who Move Furniture" will be out in early 2012. It was shot a little over a year ago. I can't wait for people to see that! I had a lot of fun working on it and the script was tight. I've got "Black Dynamite" the cartoon that's gonna be out on Adult Swim too in 2012. It's a real funny adaptation from the movie. And keep on watching, "Are We There Yet." I just shot the last one of those about three weeks ago. It was the 100 episode so we're just keeping it moving!
Give me some hype about your show in Irvine.
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My show is an acid trip you know? It's me showing the similarities with a hallucination and your daily American lives. Irvine is my favorite place as far as the state of California because it was my first California gig. It'll always be my first love you know? I do a meet and greet after every show and sign autographs. That's been working lovely for us. I'm approachable and not on some stuck-up shit. None of that! I'm a regular dude that's funny. That's it.
It's like a homecoming for you! Shaking hands and kissing babies huh?
I'm not kissing no babies that have any cold strains that I can catch! A baby with a cold will kill a grown-up! [Laughs.]
Get to know Charlie Murphy by checking out his schedule and videos on his website www.CharlieMurphyComedy.com or by following him on Twitter @CMurphyComedy. You can also find him on Facebook and at the Irvine Improv this Thursday through Sunday (12th-15th) by logging on www.improv.com or by calling 949-854-5455 for tickets. The Improv is located at 71 Fortune Drive Irvine, CA 92618.