Before becoming the voice of Donkey in the Shrek movies and every family member of The Klumps, Eddie Murphy exuded raw comedic genius on the big screen. His rock star magnetism was so big in the ‘8os, he was up there with Prince, Michael Jackson and E.T. Before you catch Eddie in Beverly Hills Cop this month on IFC, take a look at some hilarious moments from his wilder, raunchier days. Put the kids to bed, because this is NSFW Eddie we’re talking about.
5. Billy Ray shows off his kung-fu moves, Trading Places
In this scene, Eddie Murphy as Billy Ray Valentine shows off his impressive karate skills to some tough guys, one of whom is Giancarlo Esposito, aka Gus Fring from Breaking Bad. It is doubtful that Mr. Miyagi would be able to talk his way out of getting a prison shiv in the gut the way Eddie does here. Luckily for Billy Ray, his hilarious antics let him avoid a confrontation with a Barry White look-alike before a guard arrives.
4. Akeem says good morning to the neighbors, Coming to America
Prince Akeem bids good morning to his neighbors the Big Apple way in this memorable scene. We think he’ll fit in just fine.
3. Impersonating a Rocky fan, Eddie Murphy: Raw
In this R-Rated story, Eddie captured the essence of a testosterone-filled ’80s Rocky fan stupid enough to pick a fight and demand some Jujubees from a much taller man. Eddie Murphy is probably the only comedian who could’ve pulled off wearing a blue and black leather jumpsuit on stage.
2. Posing as a building inspector, Beverly Hills Cop
Beverly Hills Cop is filled with hilarious moments that showcase Eddie’s improv skills. This scene finds Axel Foley reading the riot act to some builders and delivering the classic line, “What are you, a f–ing art critic?”
1. Messing with rednecks, 48. Hrs.
From the moment Eddie Murphy takes the badge from Nolte and enters the redneck bar until he puts the cowboy hat on his head at the end of the scene, he was perfect. This is the moment Eddie went from being the funniest cast member on SNL to a full-fledged movie star. While pointing out how much he enjoys messing with rednecks, most of whom are clearly too stupid to have jobs, he matches Nick Nolte’s intensity throughout. The scene announced that there was a new Comedy Sheriff in town, and his name was Eddie Murphy.