Mo’ Better Murphy

For actor-comedian Charlie Murphy, life after the unbelievable success of Chappelle’s Show is a beautiful thing. After all, it was his “True Hollywood Stories” sketches featuring retellings of his classic run-ins with Prince and Rick James that helped launch Chappelle’s Showfrom cable sketch series to comic cannon. His newest show on BET, We Got to Do Better, examines negative stereotypes in black America; it just premiered to a heap of controversy. We dialed up Murphy to discuss the show and his explosive stand up career.

New Times: What’s the goal of We Got to Do Better? Charlie Murphy: Well, it’s just to hold a mirror up to people and say, ‘Hey man, look: Do you realize that this is what you’re doing? Do you realize that this is the effect?’ It’s about making people realize that we have got to do better. Critics say that the show’s portrayal of negative stereotypes will encourage that kind of behavior rather than prevent it. What’s your take on that? It’s all about context. Yesterday on CourtTV they were talking about the Michael Vick situation, and the whole time they were showing dogfights. If you take the story away from that and just show the images of dogfights, people would’ve been calling in from all over saying how horrible it was. But CourtTV had a point-of-view that said, ‘This image is necessary for you to understand what we’re trying to tell you.’ And that’s what We Got to Do Better is trying to do. Do you think the show will make a positive change in the Black community? Absolutely. I believe in people’s intelligence. There are a lot of people that speak to the general public with guarded tongue. The spirit they’re doing it in is, ‘I have to talk down to these people because they can’t understand me.’ I’ll never do that. I’m a common dude with a common perspective. Have you made any more True Hollywood Stories? Man, life is a True Hollywood Story with Charlie Murphy! There’s always going to be something crazy going on. My main thing now is stand up comedy. I’m having a blast. Catch Charlie Murphy Friday through Sunday at the Improv Paradise Live (5700 Seminole Way, Hollywood). Tickets cost $32. Call 954-981-5653, or visit www.improvftl.com.

 
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