Viacom can keep feting Eddie Murphy once a year if they really must. It’s all good by us.
Last year, Comedy Central and the Viacom network of channels presented Eddie Murphy with an Icon Award. This month, it was Spike TV paying tribute to Murphy with an all-star collection of comedians — Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Adam Sandler, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Tracy Morgan and Arsenio Hall among them — in a a special, Eddie Murphy: One Night Only, that premiered Wednesday night. The Roots played. Jeffrey Katzenberg made a speech. As did Tyler Perry. Brett Ratner made a fool of himself, because of course.
Nice to see them all pay tribute sincerely to Murphy. Nicer, still, to be reminded of how great Murphy was at such a young age — 21, 22 years old, the brightest star on Saturday Night Live — how many comedians knocked it out of the park in both live sketch comedy and stand-up that young?
Slightly awkward, yet sincere, too, when Arsenio tried to coax Murphy into a bit of impromptu stand-up (Murphy hinted at a return to the form for a few years recently, but has since backed off of it; most visibly so during this special).
But it wasn’t truly special until Stevie Wonder asked Eddie Murphy to join him onstage for a duet.
Side note: Why does Stevie Wonder say words such as “look” and “see” and “watched” as if he weren’t blind all of this time? Conspiracy theorists, look into this. So to speak.
Roll the clip!
And here is a little snippet from their original live TV moment together on Saturday Night Live back in the early 1980s. “My Cherie Amour!”