Movie: Eddie Murphy Raw
Release Date: December 18, 1987
Director: Robert Townsend
Starring: Eddie Murphy
Tag Lines: “WARNING! You may be offended if you’re black, white, male, female, rich or poor, Bill Cosby, Mr. T or Richard Pryor.”
“Catch him in the act. Uncensored Uncut Irresistibly…”
Relevance: I had just watched ‘Beverly Hills Cop II’ (see 273. Beverly Hills Cop II) when ‘Eddie Murphy Raw’ was released in theaters. Because of ‘Beverly Hills Cop II’ I had jumped onto the Eddie Murphy bandwagon and started watching all of his prior stuff. I had rented his “Best of…” video which showcased all of his popular Saturday Night Live skits and completely fell in love. So when a few friends asked if I wanted to go to see ‘Eddie Murphy Raw,’ I was 100% on board.
The movie simply made me laugh and solidified what I already thought about Eddie Murphy. He was a comic genius. His ease of storytelling was impressive and very relaxed. He made you feel like he was just one of your friends or a family member performing for you in your living room. kind of like the opening skit that opens the movie. Yes, the things he said were offensive, but that was his shtick. And he was an equal opportunity offender, so everyone was bound to cringe a little. He was also speaking as honest as he knew how at the time. And that honesty was funny.
My friends and I quoted this movie non-stop for a good year. When it was available as a rental, we rented it and watched it over and over again. When I went away to college, my friends there watched it non-stop. It came to the point that by 1990, I could have performed his stand-up word for word. Stand-up concert films are a rare breed, but why would anyone want to release one as it would only be compared to this masterpiece.
Today’s Thoughts: ‘Eddie Murphy Raw’ isn’t your typical Easter movie, but I’m not your typical movie fan. Plus, this just happened to be the next movie to watch from my list of favorite movies of all time. And I am not one to deviate from the list.
I know many people are not huge fans of Eddie Murphy, especially his early stand-up. My husband is one of them. I watched this movie alone. I get that he spoke “raw” and “uncensored” and that is not everyone’s cup of tea. But funny is funny and it’s also the point of the movie.
Yes, he uses the word “fags” and “faggots” a bit, but this was written and produced in 1987. If he were to go on tour now in 2020 and use those slurs, of course I would be offended. But that was a totally different time and I understand that. They weren’t fun words hearing first thing on Easter morning, but they didn’t bother me. If you take the time to research it, he evolved, like most people on the subject and has since apologized for using them. Plus he gave a shout-out to Madonna, referencing her song “Material Girl.” So he gets a pass.
‘Eddie Murphy Raw’ is a great film if you want to laugh for ninety minutes and are not easily offended. It’s a movie that brings back many fond memories of my friends that bonded over it. I highly recommend it with a warning. If you are a religious kind of person maybe just wait until it’s not Easter.
Ways to Watch: YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, iTunes, DVD Availability.