Day: November 8, 2007

Charlie Murphy writes jokes while driving

Charlie Murphy started doing stand-up comedy about 20 years after his younger brother, Eddie. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. Eddie tasted superstardom success at an early age. For older brother Charlie, now 48, he’s just getting his taste of it, post-Chappelle’s Show (Murphy performs Friday-Saturday at Carolines as part of the New York Comedy Festival). And he thinks he’s the better for it. "Definitely. I’m in love with the game of standup. I’ve got an audience of people listening to me. That’s the best job in the world," he told me over the phone while driving on Interstate 80. "When you’re younger, you got less repsonsibility, and you’re more subject to peril, if you don’t have a strong support group around you. Because there’s wovles out there. When you’re older, you see all this s–t going down but you’re too old to participate. You don’t have the recovery time!…Patron and s–t. No, man I can’t do that." He’s more than happy to participate in this week’s festival, considering what Caroline Hirsch and company have done to help him out. "Carolines has given me a lot of love over the years, so I’ve got to give some love back," he said. "Whatever they want from Charlie Murphy, they can have it. They even let me go onstage when I had no act." No act? Really? What was that like?"Very nervewracking,"...

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Damon Wayans, on stand-up, online comedy

Damon Wayans always seems to be getting back into the game, and this week is no different. The native New Yorker popped in to the Comedy Cellar on Wednesday night for a surprise half-hour set, telling me afterward: "I’ve got to get ready for the big show." That big show is Friday night at Beacon Theatre as part of the New York Comedy Festival. When we spoke over the phone last week, I asked him about an upcoming Comedy Central special, and somewhere in between that and Last Comic Standing, we got talking about comedians being ready for primetime. "I’m not a primetime guy, not in stand-up," Wayans said. "You don’t want to be. If you don’t express yourself — if you can be primetime you’re not expressing yourself." How do you look at comedy differently now after more than two decades onstage? "I’m a little more seasoned right now. I’m definitely a lot less afraid now. I think I enjoy it more because I realize I’m not going to be as physical now. It’s time. I’m 47 years old. That youth when I used to bound onstage, now I’m a little more like Cosby, looking forward to sitting down on a couch." But he still remembers his first time onstage, when he wrote all of his jokes down so he wouldn’t forget them. "I put the paper in...

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November 2007
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