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Comedian Charlie Murphy takes a hit on reality (Audio)

By By Jessica Rodrigo - JRODRIGO@VICAD.COM
Feb. 27, 2013 at 11:01 a.m.
Updated Feb. 27, 2013 at 8:28 p.m.

Charlie Murphy

Take a dose

•  WHAT: Charlie Murphy's Acid Trip Tour

• WHEN: 7-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday

•  WHERE: Golden Gecko, 202 E. Forrest St.

• TICKETS: $30 available online at goldengeckoevents.com or 361-655-9019. VIP tables are available.

The essential Charlie Murphy

The elder Murphy brother is a Jack of all trades. From acting to songwriting, this do-it-all has a long entertainment career ripe for rediscovery. Here is a sampling of some of his most notable work:

Murphy is a successful voice actor, perhaps best known for his work on Adult Swim's always brilliant "The Boondocks" voicing Iraq War veteran Ed Wuncler III.

Murphy is most well-known for his time spent on "Chapelle's Show," acting in various sketches.

For a look inside Murphy's mind and what it took for the Brooklyn native to find his voice as a stand up comedian, read his book "The Making of a Stand-Up Guy."

In 2010, Murphy's comedy special "I Will Not Apologize" premiered on Comedy Central, flexing his stand up muscles.

The Golden Gecko has been graced with big names, such as Thea Vidale, Mr. Brown and, now, Charlie Murphy. The 53-year-old, stand-up comedian who wears many hats - writer, comedian, actor, dad and veteran - is the newest addition the Gecko's comedy lineup. Golden Gecko owner Jodi Sandoval said she was excited about booking another big comedy show at their venue.

"We try to bring good entertainment to Victoria, and hopefully, this will be the first of many more good shows here," she said. The show includes two performances each night.

Because Charlie Murphy is such a well-known comedian, Sandoval, who owns the bar with her husband Joey, said they opened the show up to an 18 and older crowd. Each show has room for 200 people, and they wanted to give more people the opportunity to enjoy Murphy's comedy.

After recovering from a sold-out show at Orlando Improv Comedy Club, Murphy had a chance to talk about his Acid Trip Tour and what it's been like to be on tour for 11 years.

What was the idea behind the Acid Trip Tour?

It's a metaphor. ... I grew up in Brooklyn. I grew up to be a comedian that not only does comedy in the U.S., but I've gone to 11 different countries. It's an acid trip - it's unbelievable. It's something that I have to ask myself - I have to pinch myself - 'Is this real?' I can't believe I'm going to all these places, and I have love in all these places in the world. It was the perfect metaphoric name for the tour, 'cause my whole life has been a series of things - is this real? When I contrast that to the world we live in - stuff that happens on a daily basis in the world we live in - it was the perfect name. A lot of the stuff I'm talking about in my show is current events.

So, since you base your material off current events, does your material change for each show?

Constantly. When you come watch my show, it feels like I wrote it that day. I'm talking about stuff that just happened. Stuff that happened recently. Stuff that everyone can remember. Stuff that was a big deal, I talk about it. I make fun of it all.

What's one of the most recent things you've talked about on your show?

By the time I come to Victoria, I'm sure it'll be something new. Right now, the biggest news maker is the pope retiring. Everybody knows that its happening, but guess what, can you believe it's happening? And that's the theme of my show, stuff like that. Stuff that you never expected in your life to occur, but it did occur. You know what I am saying? For instance, did you know that two out of the four candidates for the next pope are black, which means we have a 50-50 chance of the next pope being black? And if that happens to go down, would that be something you ever expected in your life? We'd have a black pope and a black president at the same time. Would that make you go, 'Wow, did that really happen?' That's why my show is never-ending, 'cause stuff like that keeps happening, and it keeps giving me more stuff to put in the category to address - Is that really happening?

Have you ever had a negative reaction from something you've said on stage?

What do you want me to say? Everything I say is something that ain't nobody expecting me to say. What you think I'm getting ready to say is not what I say, and what you think I'm getting ready to do is not what I do. But I'll walk you up the street and make you think, 'Yeah, OK. I know where he's going.' And then when I end it, you realize, 'He put some thought into that, and I appreciate that.'

So you like to get people to think about things a little differently?

I get people to think about a lot of stuff differently because I bring it up and I ask you about it. I ask you to think about how absurd it is. For instance, right now, the whole world is complaining about money. Everybody is talking about the economy's not good. ... Right now, we got almost one-third of the world is fighting, making threats. We got nuclear threats in Korea ... in Iran ... in Pakistan ... and bad economy all over the world. And while this is happening we have a $350 billion probe on Mars searching for signs of life.

As if we need more people to argue with. Think about that. That's absurd. Three-hundred billion dollars. Do you know how much that could help the world out if they spent that on ending poverty? Ending hunger? How many people that could help? Instead, they send a robot to Mars to look for signs of life. For what? They found microbes up there. So what? Spend $350 billion to find microbes. It's absurd. I point out the absurdities of our reality.

You came out with a book and you've done your fair share of acting on TV and movies, between the stand-up, the writing and the acting, which is your favorite?

Stand-up is the most loyal to me. I prefer it over everything. It's the most loyal. I work constantly for stand-up. I don't constantly get booked in movies. I don't constantly get booked in TV shows. I would love to be in that situation, but I'm not. But I gotta find a way to support me and my family and it's doing this. I feel blessed, tremendously.

Do you have any advice for those up-and-coming comedians? I know it's a hard road and not for everyone.

You gotta have a tough skin, girl. Don't let nobody else write the script on how your career is going to go down. As long as you believe in yourself, don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. It ain't all smiles and giggles. Be ready for that.

How long have you been on tour for the Acid Trip?

I've been on this tour for two years, but I've been on the road for 11 years. I never came off the road. This is my primary source of income I don't have no day job. This is what I do. There's no coming off the road, unless I open up a club or get on a TV show.

I love food. What do you eat when you're on the road?

Its depends on where I'm at. The geographic location dictates what you'll be eating. Different places have signature foods. I like to go test them out - see what's good and what's bad.

What have you been eating in Orlando?

I've probably been eating too much of it, but I've been eating steak. I've eaten three or four steaks already and I've been here since (for two days). They're the big ones, too, the bone-in ribeye. You're supposed to only do that once a month, but I've done three already, and I'm like, 'you better chill. All that beef, you're going hard.'

Before you go on stage, what kind of preparation do you have?

Pray. What else do I need to do? Once you pray, you did it all. You can't get no better than that.

A lot of people know you from "Chappelle's Show," is there one skit or character you've played that you would call your favorite?

For me, no there isn't. I love them all equally. They all add up to what is the total Charlie Murphy. It's not just one thing. All of it was good sh. So, I'm happy.

Is there anything else we can expect from you this year?

In the year 2013, Charlie Murphy is the national chairperson for support for hospitalized vets. I'm going to be going around the country to VA hospitals and bringing awareness to the community about supporting their local VFW and supporting wounded vets. A lot of hospitalized vets, older guys, whatever, are laid up in their final hours or whatever and they don't even have families because they're old.

And then you have the young guys who just came back, and they need a lift and a boost. They need someone to say, 'Hey, I appreciate your sacrifice.' And I'm going to be doing that all year. I want everyone to be aware of that and be aware of the fact that we got people who really put it all on the line for us. We should think about that sometime and try to give back.

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