Comedians pay tribute to Charlie Murphy in memorial, on stage and in SiriusXM show

Comedians who worked with Charlie Murphy on tour and on Chappelle’s Show gathered in New Jersey yesterday to remember him at a memorial, and Dave Chappelle held court for several hours late into the previous night in Manhattan at The Comedy Cellar.

Among those who gathered at the memorial: Chappelle, Donnell Rawlings, Bill Burr, Neal Brennan, Cedric the Entertainer, Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley and George Lopez.

Over on SiriusXM, several of them also offered more public words in honor of Charlie Murphy, who died last week at 57 from leukemia.

“The Charlie Murphy Tribute Show,” hosted by comedian Bob Sumner and SiriusXM’s Foxxhole programming director, Chris Colbert, will replay this weekend on SiriusXM’s Foxxhole channel 96 at the following times (all Eastern) —  5 and 8 p.m. Friday, 3 and 6 p.m. Saturday, and noon, 4 and 7 p.m. Sunday.

From Cedric the Entertainer: “He was so deadpan, and dead-serious about how he tells these stories that the comedy just kinda emotes through every little word, man. Like this dude, because he’s so serious about it that you just, swear ‘Ain’t no way that happened, Charlie.’ I was telling someone a story where he said Eddie was at an event supporting Stevie Wonder at a video or something, there were about three teenagers in like this big warehouse. They’re throwing a Frisbee and somehow the Frisbee gets loose, and it head towards Stevie Wonder, and he turns around and grabbed the Frisbee out of the air. And we’re like ‘You’re lying, Charlie!’ He’s like ‘I’m telling you it happened!’ And we’d be like, ‘No you’re kidding, Charlie,’ and he’d be like, ‘It happened man, I’m telling you this shit happened!'”

From Bill Bellamy: “Every time you see him he was always just a cool cat. ‘Hey, how you doing?’ He always asked me ‘How’s your family?’ And he was a family guy, too. Those kids, everything, you know. And I think one of the things I heard Bob say earlier about storytelling, is that’s one of the things we do as comics, but that’s one of the things that he did really, really, well. Like you said, he would make them HD stories. Like you felt like you experienced it with him because the way he would tell them to you, and all the stuff he went through…having a super-duper famous brother. All the different characters that they literally hung out with, saw, came by the crib. Bananas!”

From Donnell Rawlings: “We had the type of friendship where we insulted each other on sight. It was like a cowboy showdown. Don’t take 10 paces. As soon as you see each other you just pull the gun out and just start firing. And sometimes I would hit, sometimes he would hit. The one thing I know about Charlie, I said he had the chin of a Mexican fighter. It didn’t matter how many times you hit him, he would always come back. He would always have something funny to say. And as much as everybody knew Charlie as a man’s man, tough exterior… I found, when we got to know each other – and I used to make fun of him ‘Yeah you tough, you gusto, you a karate-chopping dude’ – but when you touch that microphone… [There are] a lot of people that [are] funny from a distance, but when you get in front of an audience when the pressure is on you to make people laugh at the same time, there’s a whole different story. And I would talk trash to him, I would talk trash to him. And I guess finally he had a enough and he said ‘I’m gonna show this dude.’. It was at the Laugh Factory….It was the first time and I was like ‘You’re gonna do it.’ He did it. And what people don’t understand is it’s one thing to start as a comic unnoticed, nobody knows your failures or anything. But Charlie Murphy basically was an open mic’er at the beginning and was selling out across the country. So when he talked about the pressure to be good and to be good…not today, but yesterday, and he stepped to it. And one thing I said about lot of people, when he first started, they wanted to kill you. You need to do this, you need to do that, and people would tell Charlie, you need to step your cadence up, blah, blah, blah, and he would always dismiss it. And he was the Frank Sinatra of it. I’m gonna do it my way.”

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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