Dave Chappelle went up on stage at a John Mayer concert to pay tribute to his friend and fellow comedian, Charlie Murphy, who died of leukemia yesterday morning.
A clip of Dave Chappelle’s Charlie Murphy tribute went its rounds on Twitter, showing the veteran comedian as he announced Murphy’s death inside the packed stadium.
Before mentioning Murphy’s death, Chappelle joked around with Mayer, remembering the time he asked the singer-songwriter to do a sketch called “White Man Dancing” for Chappelle’s Show, which just started at the time. He praised Mayer for the excellent performance in the sketch, calling it one of the best moments in the show. As the crowd laughed and cheered, Dave Chappelle segued to announcing Charlie Murphy’s death.
“And today, I got some terrible news. My good friend, Charlie Murphy, passed away this morning. And everybody in comedy is heartbroken.”
Immediately after his Murphy tribute, Chappelle thanked John Mayer for giving him the opportunity to honor his friend.
Charlie Murphy on Chappelle’s Show
Charlie Murphy is many things, but he is best known for his appearances on Chappelle’s Show on Comedy Central. Murphy is fondly remembered for his segment “True Hollywood Stories,” in which he recalled his zany encounters with celebrities in the 80’s, as reported by Slate. The sketches, which Charlie himself wrote and appeared in, also featured main host Dave Chappelle.
Murphy wrote two “True Hollywood Stories” sketches for the show: the first one about the time he met Rick James, and the other one about Prince.
In the Rick James sketch, Charlie Murphy recalled how he met the legendary musician, whom he called a “habitual line-stepper.” Chappelle, who played James in the skit, repeatedly uttered the musician’s catchphrase, “I’m Rick James, b**ch!” The sketch opened with the scene where James jokingly punched Charlie Murphy in the face when he entered the dance floor of Studio 54.
Murphy’s second story re-enacted the time he first met Prince inside an L.A. nightclub. He recalled how the “Purple Rain” singer invited him and his friends to his place to listen to some music. Before long, Prince challenged them to a pick-up basketball game. Murphy remembered underestimating the musician, partly on account of the fact that he was still wearing his club attire. To his shock, The Purple One and his friends dominated them in the basketball match.
When asked to react to Murphy’s sketch, Prince joked, “It ain’t that I’m that great; he’s just that bad.”
To this day, Charlie Murphy’s iconic Prince basketball story remains one of the most memorable stories told about the legendary musician.
RIP Charlie Murphy
Charlie Murphy, 57, died of leukemia Wednesday morning in a New York hospital, BBC reports.
Eddie Murphy’s brother posted a tweet hours before he succumbed to his illness.
“One to Sleep On: Release the past to rest as deeply as possible.”
The Murphy family issued a statement on Charlie Murphy’s death.
“Our hearts are heavy with the loss today of our son, brother, father, uncle and friend Charlie.”
“Charlie filled our family with love and laughter and there won’t be a day that goes by that his presence will not be missed.”
“Thank you for the outpouring of condolences and prayers. We respectfully ask for privacy during this time of great loss for all of us.”
On top of his appearances on Chappelle’s Show, Charlie Murphy appeared in films such as Harlem Nights, CB4, and The Players’ Club. He also wrote the screenplay Vampire in Brooklyn. He also kept himself busy voicing characters on The Boondocks and Black Dynamite. As a stand-up comedian, Murphy toured with Cedric the Entertainer, Eddie Griffin, George Lopez, and D.L. Hughley on “The Comedy Get Down.”
Charlie Murphy was survived by his three children, including two with his late wife Tisha Taylor, who died of cervical cancer in 2009.
[Featured Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]