Eddie Murphy Returning To Stand-Up Comedy After More Than 30 Years

Eddie Murphy at a Netflix event
Emma McIntyre / Getty Images

One of the most important figures in the history of stand-up comedy is returning to the stage after a multi-decade layoff.

Eddie Murphy, who performed stand-up comedy in addition to his sketch work on Saturday Night Live and later performed the legendary concert films Delirious and Eddie Murphy: Raw, is making a comedy comeback, per TMZ.

Netflix and the 58-year-old Murphy are “close” to a $70 million deal for Murphy to make a series of stand-up specials for the streaming service, the report said, citing sources close to the performer.

Murphy could be seen on Netflix most recently on an episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, along with Jerry Seinfeld, where he discussed his interest in reviving his stand-up comedy career.

“I’m going to do it again,” Murphy told Seinfeld on the show, per Page Six. “Everything just has to be right. You have to get up there and start working out. Still gotta go to the comedy club.”

The deal, if $70 million is the exact, final figure, will top those reached by Netflix with such comics as Dave Chappelle ($60 million for three specials) and Chris Rock ($40 for two specials), according to TMZ‘s numbers. Netflix has emerged in recent years as the top destination for stand-up specials, with both established comics and up-and-coming ones mostly putting their specials on the service.

Murphy has not performed a major stand-up comedy special since Eddie Murphy Raw over 30 years ago, in 1987, having spent most of the years afterward as a movie actor.

Murphy has somewhat receded as a movie star in recent years, although he appears in an occasional hit, including the movie musical Dreamgirls in 2007, for which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor and won a Golden Globe in the same category; Murphy also did voice work in the series of four Shrek movies.

But Murphy, this century, has also appeared in a series of flop movies, such as The Aventures of Pluto Nash, Imagine That, Meet Dave, and A Thousand Words. His last released movie, Mr. Church, came out in 2016. Murphy of late, has more often made headlines for his romantic life. Per The Inquisitr, Spice Girl Mel B has said that Murphy will always be the love of her life.

Murphy was also estranged from Saturday Night Live for many years, before he agreed to appear on the show’s 40th anniversary special in 2015, per GQ.

It’s unclear when Murphy’s first Netflix special might appear on the service.