Eddie Murphy Says Barack Obama Pushed Him to Return to Standup

“I said, ‘maybe it’s time to do standup again,” Murphy says about his prodding from former president

Last Updated: October 26, 2019 @ 11:23 AM

Eddie Murphy has had plenty of people urging him to return to standup comedy for the first time since the late 1980s — but one fan’s input in particular left an impression: former President Barack Obama.

Murphy, during an interview with “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert on Friday, said Obama helped spark his interest in getting back onstage.

“Obama, yeah, when I got this Mark Twain Prize [and] I saw him in the White House, the first thing he asked me was, ‘When are you going to do standup again?'” Murphy said, imitating the ex-commander-in-chief.  “And I said, ‘Maybe it’s time to do standup again.'”

While nothing is set in stone, Murphy’s return to standup has picked up steam in recent months. He was reportedly offered $70 million from Netflix earlier this year for a series of comedy specials. Murphy then told Krista Smith, host of the “Present Company” podcast, he planned on hitting the road in 2020 and doing some standup.

Murphy starred in two iconic comedy specials during the 1980s — 1983’s “Delirious” and 1987’s “Raw,” which still holds the crown for most lucrative standup film.

He’s been on a bit of a comedy comeback tour of late, too. His latest movie, “Dolemite Is My Name,” just hit Netflix and has received rave reviews. Murphy is also set to host “Saturday Night Live” for the first time in 35 years in December.

Watch the clip above.