While I consider the HBO special Delirious Eddie at his finest, the concert film Eddie Murphy: Raw is easily as watchable. Both concerts show Eddie as one of the most talented and original stand-up comedians ever. Plus, he's just plain old raunchy, which I dig.It's tough being an Eddie Murphy fan nowadays. Moviegoers quickly forget how funny someone used to be when all they do is make the same sequels every summer. The Eddie Murphy of today is often a complete stranger, with only very small glimpses of his former manic self peeking through the big-budget artifice. Think about what's funnier - Eddie Murphy in his fantastic Delirious concert or Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps?
The movie opens with a cute sequence with Eddie as a young boy, entertaining and eventually shocking his family with some decidedly nasty jokes. (Incidentally, this sequence was directed by Robert Townsend and features Samuel L. Jackson as Eddie's uncle!) What follows is 90 minutes of some of the harshest and strongest stand-up you'll ever see. Filmed in 1987 at the Felt Forum in New York City, Eddie Murphy Raw stands as one of the finest comedy concert films ever made.
Eddie covers his favorite topics - sex, money and women. While many claim that his over-the-top views mask some misogynistic or sexist views, I choose to see it as a performer playing a role. At this point in his career, Eddie just had his audience wrapped around his finger, and this guy knows how to work a room.
While lots of comedians rely on extreme profanity to just shock people, Eddie used his mouth as a comedic weapon. His skills as an impersonator are equally as impressive. Try to watch his takes on Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby and not crack a smile. And just as in Delirious, some of Eddie's best material revolves around his own family. "Dat don't look like McDonald's!"One great thing about concert movies like these: You can watch them over and over, like listening to one of your favorite CDs. Heck, it's simple - If you already love Eddie Murphy as I do, this is a five-star concert movie. If you don't, you'd be pretty stupid to even rent it, right?