Thirty years ago today–on May 11, 1985–Eddie Murphy played the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver. This was exactly 12 days before he released “Party All the Time”, which reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is clearly one of the worst songs ever recorded.
What bugs me most about this video–besides the music–is the shirt-button-challenged “rock” guitarist behind Eddie who shows up at the 1:3o mark. Would it have killed him to turn his fvcking amp on?
Anyway, here’s my 30-year-old review of Murphy’s show, which I still have the backstage pass from.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 17, 1985
By Steve Newton
There was some mighty funny business going down last Saturday when North America’s hottest comic movie star Eddie Murphy did two sold-out shows at the Queen E. The star of 48 HRS., Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop, and TV’s Saturday Night Live had a lot of folks in stitches with his rude bodily gestures and expletive-laced language.
For his second show Murphy wasted no time taking saucy shots at such celebrities as mean Mr. T: “Any guy that’ll cut his hair like that will cut your hair like that.” As for little Webster, “The only thing he could do is hold my dick for me.” And the “other” Jackson brothers: “They’d be getting all the p***y after the concert while Michael’s up playin’ Pac-man with Webster!”
Murphy’s raunchy repertoire also had him making fun of cocaine abuse, masturbation, fisticuffs, venereal disease, oral sex, pornography, homosexuality, and eating feces. He was fearless in his quest for laughs–and he got them–using mostly his own vices and weaknesses as the bait.
Opening for Eddie was Vancouver ventriloquist Don Bryan, with his dirty-old-man dummy Dr. Noseworthy. With a bulbous snout, bug eyes, and playboy outfit, The Doctor made jokes about Surrey (“What year is it there now?”), peeing his pants (“The sign said Wet Floor, so I did!”), and sperm banks (“I tried everything. Left hand, right hand. Put hot water on it. Banged the sucker on the table. Couldn’t get the damned lid off the jar!”)
Bryan’s ribald brand of comedy served well to get the Murphy crowd in the mood for the main event, although the comical expression of Noseworthy must have been lost on those seated further from the stage. Up front, the two were a gas.
After Murphy’s second show his crew and friends threw a bash in a Four Seasons hotel room, but Eddie was reportedly (and understandably) tuckered out and didn’t make an appearnance. His uncle Phil was there though, boogeying with one of the 20 or so guests to the funky blare of a huge ghetto blaster. Also among the Murphy-ites and party animals was percussionst/drum programmer Jon Micale, a member of the Sheila E. band and formerly with the Thompson Twins. He’d flown up from L.A. , where the band is recording, to take in the two shows.
The staff at the hotel complained twice about the racket from the tape deck–and even arranged for the party to be moved to another room–but when I left at 5 a.m. it was still going on.