As the year winds down, those year-end lists start making the rounds on the news. We talk about the biggest movies, the longest running hit songs, who got married, and of course who sadly passed away.
All those “in memoriam” lists get you thinking about who we haven’t seen on our screens in a while, and among those we haven’t seen lately is Comedy legend Eddie Murphy. However, despite popular death hoaxes, he is very much alive!
So what happened? Where did everyone’s favorite funny man go? Just a few years ago, it seemed like he was everywhere. Remember Dr. Doolittle, The Nutty Professor, and Shrek?
He even reprised his role voicing Shrek‘s Donkey in Donkey’s Christmas Spectacular in 2010. You may have seen it on repeat on your television this holiday season.
Of course, Murphy is most fondly remembered by fans for his time on Saturday Night Live and in the Beverly Hills Cop franchise early on in his lengthy career. Yet in recent years, he seems to have disappeared completely.
Well, one reason could be that he’s made quite a few flops. He’s admitted in interviews that he was getting choosier with his scripts and did not want to do a movie solely for the paycheck anymore.
Murphy did make the movie, Mr. Church, just last year… But I bet you didn’t hear about it. While the film was hotly anticipated, it barely made a blip with awards shows or audiences. It seemed to come and go from theatres before anyone could even blink.
It seems Murphy may not have cared too much, though. He told reporters, “It was like a really easy movie to go do, and everybody was really cool, so I just went and did it, then I went back to the hammock in the backyard.”
Murphy’s quote may be a hint at what’s actually been going on with him. He’s retired! Murphy once famously said,“I keep telling people I’ll make movies until I’m 50 and then I’ll go and do something else. I’m going to be a professional gentleman of leisure.“
While the now 56-year-old hasn’t strictly stuck to his word, he has certainly slowed down, and perhaps rightfully so. After all, he did start his professional career at just 19 as a regular on Saturday Night Live.
It seems he’s had retirement on his mind for a while now. In 2011, Murphy told Rolling Stone:
“I only want to do what I really want to do, otherwise, I’m content to sit here and play my guitar all day. I always tell people now that I’m a semi-retired gentleman of leisure, and occasionally I’ll go do some work to break the boredom up.”
Murphy has also revealed in a 2016 podcast that he hasn’t read a newspaper for over 20 years, and that he doesn’t even have an email address – or a computer! This certainly sounds like a man who is trying his best to distance himself from the outside world.
Then in 2016, he told Variety:
“My stuff is on TV all the time for anyone checking for it. When do they think they’ll hear me say something funny [in the future]? I don’t know, because from here, I’m going back to the backyard to chill.”
His mentality is understandable. Murphy does have several children, and his current girlfriend just had a child last year. Perhaps Murphy just wants some time to spend with his family.
However, he does have one more project in the works, and it’s one his fans will be excited about. Murphy says that he’ll do Beverly Hills Cop 4, but only if the script is perfect.
“If we can get the script just right, it’s something that we’ll do,” he says. “But this’ll be perfect because I don’t wanna do anything else that sucks ever again.”
I think a lot of us would be happy to see him back on the big screen.
If you’re missing Eddie Murphy like we do, check out the video below. Jimmy Fallon interviews the beloved comedian and they discuss his career with a lot of laughs along the way: