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Top 10 Eddie Murphy Moments

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Eddie Murphy has been cracking us up since his breakout days as a bright spot on a dismal "Saturday Night Live" cast. He then became a legitimate movie star by taking on roles in "48 Hours" and "Beverly Hills Cop," where his smart aleck personality and trademark laugh were showcased to great effect. But first and foremost, Murphy is a stand-up comedian: do you prefer his routine with the purple leather suit ("Raw") or the one with the red leather suit ("Delirious")? Either way, Eddie’s hilarious. In honor of the 25th anniversary of "Coming to America" on June 29th, counts down our top 10 favorite Eddie Murphy moments.

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Top10 Eddie Murphy Moments

He wants to party all the time. Welcome to, and today were counting down our top 10 favorite Eddie Murphy moments.

#10 – Why Did E.M. Cross the Street? (1999)

Eddie’s made a career of playing multiple roles in his movies. But in “Bowfinger,” he doesn’t don a fat-lady suit; instead he wears the guise of a hotshot actor and his naïve lookalike. This movie has tons of redeeming qualities – not the least of which is Murphy’s satirical take on his own image. But our favorite part is the simpleminded, trusting doppelganger trying to cross the freeway.

#9 – Eddie Hates Rednecks (1982)

Well, we’ll give you that one: Eddie is great at bullshit. “48 Hours” started Murphy’s film career and the entire buddy cop genre, and it’s basically all down to the “Saturday Night Live” star’s fast-talk. Everyone’s favorite part in this movie is the moment where Eddie gets to rail against an entire bar-full of rednecks on his own, turning their racism back on them with style.

#8 – Eddie on Johnny (1982)

Within his first two seconds on the “Tonight Show” stage, Eddie has yelled at his audience and displayed the patented Eddie Murphy laugh. And that’s not even why his first appearance on Carson is classic. Between the breakfast cereal family, threatening to quit show business to join the Secret Service or his talking car, it’s a little more family-friendly than “Raw” or “Delirious” – but he does discuss bulges.

#7 – Meet the Klumps (1996)

After blowing up the ‘80s with big budget, successful flicks, Murphy’s career took a nosedive in the ‘90s – except for “The Nutty Professor.” He puts the fat suits and multiple personalities to their most successful use, portraying not only a caricature of Richard Simmons and the Nutty Professor himself, but also the entire Klump clan. Family dinners were never so memorable. Or inappropriate.

#6 – Live from NY, It’s the Eddie Murphy Show (1980-84)

How do you choose between Hot Tub, Gumby, Mr. Robinson and Buckwheat? Truth is, you don’t. Eddie Murphy was the bright spot in an otherwise lackluster “SNL” lineup, meaning we got to see way more of him than we otherwise would’ve. So, to pick a favorite moment is just not fair. Fine, we’ll go wiiiiith…Buckwheat. No Gumby! Oh this is hard. Oh, forget it: they’re all great.

#5 – It’s Valentine’s Day (1983)

We know a great comedy pairing when we see one, and putting these two SNL alums together was a stroke of genius: Dan Aykroyd is the perfect straight man, Eddie Murphy the ideal funny guy and their chemistry is killer. You get the feeling they were allowed to do whatever they wanted, and Eddie basically comedies his way out of some tough situations. But then things get kinda racisty.

#4 – A Raw Deal (1987)

First and foremost, Eddie Murphy is a raunchy stand-up comedian, no matter what the “Shrek”s and “Daddy Day Care”s might lead you to believe. Case in point: “Raw” – otherwise known as the one with the purple leather suit. It contains the f-word a total of 223 times. You know who had a problem with cursing? Eddie’s idol, Bill Cosby. It’s still funny without all the swearing, btw.

#3 – Murphy’s Multiple Personalities (1988)

It’s easy to imagine that Eddie Murphy’s lifestyle includes servants that brush his teeth with a gold toothbrush. What makes that lifestyle possible is his talent for playing many characters, and that started with “Coming to America.” Most people vote for Randy Watson as their preferred Murphy persona, but we’re partial to “old Jewish man” ourselves.

#2 – Get Axel’d (1984)

No one will argue if you say “Beverly Hills Cop” is Eddie Murphy’s best film. Why? Because a) it’s got comedy and action, b) it’s one of the best movies of the ‘80s, and c) it’s classic Eddie Murphy, plain and simple. For example: the scene where he hustles his way into a swanky Beverly Hills hotel with nothing but moxie and some well-placed racial epithets.

#1 – Red Hot ‘n’ Ready (1983)

It’s the one with the red leather suit, and it’s one hella-quotable stand-up routine by a 22-year-old Eddie Murphy. Believe it or not, it features the f-word even more than “Raw.” No one is off-limits in “Delirious:” not Mr. T, Elvis, Michael Jackson, James Brown, Stevie Wonder or even Murphy’s own family. There may be some dated and offensive references, but everybody likes ice cream.

Do you agree with our list? What do you think is Eddie Murphy’s most hilarious moment? For more top 10s about your favorite comedians, be sure to subscribe to

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