Eddie Murphy: ‘I was criticised for inappropriate jokes long before #MeToo movement’

Eddie Murphy isn’t going to change his stand-up comedy sets in light of the #MeToo movement.

The 58-year-old actor and comedian will return to host American sketch TV series Saturday Night Live for the first time in 35 years on 21 December before heading out on the road in 2020.

Reflecting on his return to the stage for the first time in three decades, the Beverly Hills Cop star told WSJ. Magazine he is used to a heightened level of scrutiny, and has previously had to apologise for some of his material, but now everybody will get the same treatment.

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“Before there was the #MeToo movement, all this stuff that’s going on, the woke stuff, whatever y’all are calling it. People would talk s**t, get bent out of shape,” he said. “I had to apologise for stuff. And that was, you know, 30 years ago.

“Now everybody gets treated the same way. But it’s not like I’m looking at it like, ‘Oh, now I don’t know if I can do stand-up because it’s changed’. It’s like, it changed for everyone else… So when I put my stuff together, I ain’t stepping on nobody’s toes, giving nobody reasons to picket me and all that s**t.”

Explaining how he plans to test out his new material before he heads out on the tour, Eddie added: “I’m just going to pop up and do the comedy clubs. And try to get my s**t together.

“I’m not thinking about: ‘Hey, what’s the audience? What are they tripping about? Got to be careful or they might post your jokes.’ I’m thinking about how to get a funny hour and a half.”

Last week, the star told U.S. late-night host Stephen Colbert it was former President Barack Obama who inspired his return to comedy, after he asked him, “When are you going to do stand-up again?” in 2015 when the star was honoured with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

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