As he prepares for a return to the stand-up stage, veteran comedian Eddie Murphy is revealing how much he “cringes” at his old “ignorant” stand-up material.
In a recent interview with the New York Times, the 58-year-old comedic legend admitted in the profile promoting his upcoming Netflix film, “Dolemite is My Name,” that material from his 1987 stand-up special, “Raw,” makes him cringe in 2019.
“I was a young guy processing a broken heart, you know, kind of an a–hole,” Murphy admitted of his controversial jokes.
A now much older and wiser Murphy confessed that “Raw” is “a bit much, my goodness.”
His early stand-up included highly successful shows he turned into hit specials. The subject matter of “Raw” and Delirious” often touched on racial, gender and homosexual stereotypes, including jokes about the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. In 1996 he released a statement apologizing to the public about his “ignorant,” jokes.
“I deeply regret any pain all this has caused,” he said in a statement at the time. “Just like the rest of the world, I am more educated about AIDS in 1996 than I was in 1981. I think it is unfair to take the words of a misinformed 21-year-old and apply them to an informed 35-year-old man. I know how serious an issue AIDS is the world over. I know that AIDS isn’t funny. It’s 1996 and I’m a lot smarter about AIDS now.”
Murphy’s latest film “Dolemite Is My Name” comes out on Oct. 4. He is set to return to Saturday Night Live on December 21 where he will host for the first time since he left the show in 1984. He also announced a 2020 stand-up tour.