Charlie Murphy’s death marked a sad day for the comedy world. The 57-year-old comedian and brother of Eddie Murphy died this past week from leukemia. From his sketches on Chappelle’s Show to his extensive career in film, here are Murphy’s best on-screen moments.
Murphy is perhaps best known for his hilarious sketches on Chappelle’s Show. In fact, E! News reports that Murphy’s sketch recalling his encounter with Rick James may have been the first comedy video to go viral.
The clip was part of a larger series called Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories. The series featured Murphy telling stories about his interactions with Hollywood stars in the 1980s and few topped his story about kicking Rick James. In the 2004 sketch, Murphy recalled how James was a “habitual line-stepper” and punched him in the face when they met in a club one night.
While Murphy told the story, James confirmed that he imprinted his ring on Murphy’s forehead. All the while, Dave Chappelle reenacted the incident with a comical version of James.
Murphy didn’t retaliate for the punch until later that night. He found out which hotel room James was staying in and paid him a late-night visit. While James claims that nothing happened, Murphy says he karate kicked James into a mirror and threatened to throw him out a window when security came in to stop the fight.
Apart from the priceless scenes of Murphy and Chappelle hitting each other, the skit also featured the iconic line, “I’m Rick James b***h!” The skit was an instant hit on the show and later became an internet sensation.
In the second installment of the Rick James skit, Charlie Murphy recalled a time when the R&B star came over his brother’s home and ruined his couch with muddy boots. While James assured everyone that “cocaine is a hell of a drug,” Murphy revealed that he and Eddie beat James’ legs for getting the couch dirty.
According to Huffington Post, another fan-favorite sketch was Murphy’s story about playing Prince in a basketball game. Murphy hilariously recounted a time when he hung out with the music icon at his home and played a game of basketball in which Prince dominated — without taking off his fancy clothes.
Murphy recalled that Prince met them at a party wearing what looked like a Zorro outfit.
“Hello Eddie Murphy. I’m a big fan of your comedies,” Murphy explained. “Would you like to come to my house and listen to some music? Assemble your crew. I’ll be outside.”
Murphy and his brother went to Prince’s house, where they hung out for a while before Prince challenged them to a game of basketball. Although Prince never changed clothes, Murphy admitted that he learned a valuable lesson.
“I kinda learned something that day,” he stated. “Never judge a book by its cover.”
The comedian concluded by saying Prince “took us in the house to serve us pancakes” after the game. The video reached epic levels of popularity after Prince’s death in 2016.
In addition to his time on Chappelle’s Show, the Daily Beast reports that Murphy starred in a number of different movies and television shows. This includes Roll Bounce, Norbit, The Boondocks, CB4, and Harlem Nights. He also did several stand-up specials, including a hilarious routine about meeting a guy with big eyeballs in London.
While Murphy built an impressive career in Hollywood, his time on Chappelle’s Show is where he made his mark.
“Dude changed my life,” Neal Brennan, the show’s co-creator, shared. “One of the most unique people I’ve ever met.”
Tell us! What was your favorite Charlie Murphy on-screen moment? Let us know in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]