Eddie Murphy is now one of Hollywood’s most prolific and famed comedians. With at least 49 movies under his belt and a long string of stand-up comedy performances, the funnyman is worth a whopping $120 million — but as RadarOnline.com has learned, the star came from humble beginnings, and it was his hunger for success what got him to the top.
“Eddie used to hold court and just tell jokes during lunch hour,” recalls stand-up comedian Chuck Nice on REELZ’s new docuseries, Eddie Murphy: The Price of Fame.
“I think as a comedian when you first find out what it is that makes you stand out, it gives you a direction. It gives you something that you can feel confident about and when you find that early on, life can be a lot easier,” says Saturday Night Live alum Chris Kattan.
At 15 years old, when Murphy, 57, was not allowed to be in the clubs, he was busy trying to get spot in them, so he could perform at open mic nights!
“He’s on the phone banging every night club up and down the east coast trying to get bookings. That right there shows a fearlessness that you just have to admire,” says Nice.
Shortly after finishing high school, Murphy got a chance to perform stand-up in Manhattan’s Comic Strip Live, the oldest stand-up comedy showcase club in New York City and the world, hoping for a break.
“I’ll never forget the first time that I saw Eddie perform, and I was blown away, you know, at his routine. He understood what comedy was. He understood the difference between someone just being a funny person and someone being a comedian,” says Nice.
Murphy joked to the crowd that this would be the first time they would get to see him perform for just $5.
“Clearly he had a gift, but it takes a lot of confidence to succeed and to go that quickly from a… kid to being center stage and stealing the show,” says Kattan.
Eddie Murphy: The Price of Fame airs Sunday, March 3 at 9 ET / PT on REELZ.