Eddie Murphy Reveals to Oprah How He Tests New Jokes

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Want to know how Eddie Murphy comes up with new jokes? So does Oprah, as we learn in this clip from The Oprah Conversation with Murphy, which premieres Friday (April 9) on Apple TV+.

Murphy has talked about making a comeback to stand-up comedy for several years now, insisting he would return to the stage in 2020 following his his 2019 Netflix movie, Dolemite Is My Name, his successful return to hosting Saturday Night Live in December 2019, and Coming 2 America. But then, as everyone knows, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down his plans — and yours.

But Murphy is still generating potential stand-up material for his comeback. And even though it has been a while since the 1980s, when he blazed through two concert specials, SNL and multiple box-office movie smashes, his routine isn’t all that different from most contemporary stand-up comedians.

Whenever he says something humorous in casual conversation, he makes a note of it. In his case, audibly leaving himself a voice memo. Next, he’ll slip it into a second conversation, this time on purpose, and see if anyone laughs. Then, no more steps. That’s it.

“Will you try them out someplace before you hit the main stage?” Oprah asked. “How will you know they’re funny?”

“How do I know they’re funny?” replied Murphy. “If I came up with it, it’s funny. Because I’m funny.”

That kind of confidence is what’s always separated Murphy from his peers.

Winfrey and Murphy also cover his life as a father and grandfather (he turned 60 on April 3!), diversity and representation in Hollywood, and the making of the sequel to Coming To America, Coming 2 America. The Oprah Conversation with Eddie Murphy premieres Friday, April 9, on Apple TV+.

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