This better be good

Spike will air an Eddie Murphy tribute on November 14th featuring Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Tracy Morgan, Arsenio Hall, Brett Ratner, Charlie Murphy, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Martin Lawrence called “Eddie Murphy: One Night Only.” I really hope it’s good.

The special, produced with Don Mischer Productions, will include short films, musical performances and sketch comedy — as well as an appearance by Murphy. It will chart his rise from a 15-year-old standup to a star of “Saturday Night Live” and such films as “Raw,” “Coming to America,” and the “Beverly Hills Cop” franchise.

This better be good

Chris Rock on Eddie Murphy

And then Chris Rock on Eddie Murphy.

When he wants it, nobody’s funnier than him. No one’s even close to him. I just went through a little exercise where I watched a bunch of old movies, like from the ’80s. The only ones that held up were the Murphy movies. A Murphy movie is like a Sidney Poitier comedy — he’s that intensely good… He revolutionized acting. He’s literally black Brando. Before Eddie Murphy, there were two schools of acting for a black actor: Either you played it LIKE THIS or youplayeditlahkdis. He was the first black guy in a movie to talk like I am talking to you right now. Just like we’re talking right now. That did not exist for black actors before him. Good Times is a good show for that: It was either John Amos or Jimmie Walker; that’s what black acting was.

Via Jonah Keri

Chris Rock on Eddie Murphy

Jimmy Fallon’s impersonations

I used to hate Jimmy Fallon the same way I hate Dane Cook. Well, a little less. Dane Cook is the worst ever. I didn’t like Jimmy Fallon in movies, I didn’t like him on SNL, and his work on Weekend Update was deplorable. However, since he’s had his own show, I’ve seen a lot of Jimmy Fallon that I’ve liked. Dane Cook stays in the dumpster, but I’m welcoming in Jimmy Fallon with open arms. A couple weeks ago, Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake gave us The History of Rap, spot on verses from important hip hop songs of the last 30 years. Here he is with spot on impersonations of about 10 comedians. Skip to 1:25.

Via Whatevs.net

Jimmy Fallon’s impersonations

Bill Simmons’ List of Comedy MVPs Since 1975

In a recent mailbag, Bill Simmons had occasion to name comedy MVPs for every year since 1975. The criteria:

You have to nail at least one of these questions to qualify for that given year: Were you in the hottest comedy of the year or, even better, in the middle of a run of hot comedies? Were you carrying SNL? Did you have an iconic stand-up special, cable TV show, late-night show or comedy series? Did you routinely crush any late-night appearance or SNL hosting gig? Did you have a huge approval rating with little to no backlash? Do we associate that year with you to some degree? I need resonance beyond just cult affection, which unfortunately rules out the great Bill Hicks (who has a strong case for 1990).

It’s a pretty good list. Eddie Murphy’s 3 year run from 82-84 is set up as the run all comedians should aspire to, which I agree with. There are some lean years, as well, which leads to a few underwhelming selections like Billy Crystal in 1990 and Gary Shandling in 1997. Without having other names to suggest, I think I have the most problems with the last 8 years or so. I love Larry David, but it’s hard for me to see him on the list twice when his show hasn’t really gotten beyond cult status. Ricky Gervais probably deserves a spot somewhere, and maybe the Lonely Island guys for Lazy Sunday. Also notably absent Stephen Colbert (2006 or 2007) and Conan O’Brien. This list, though, is at least a good place to start the argument. There is only one woman on the list, and a winner for 2010 has not yet been declared. Has there been a breakout comedy for this year, yet? My bet is on Steve Carell, Zach Galifianiakis, Jonah Hill or Russel Brand could be a dark horse, as well as anyone staring in a comedy coming out between now and December. Actually, you know who wins for 2010? Betty White.

Here is the list:
1975: Richard Pryor
1976: Chevy Chase
1977-78: John Belushi
1979: Robin Williams, Steve Martin (tie)
1980: Rodney Dangerfield
1981: Bill Murray
1982-84: Eddie Murphy (1984 Honorable Mention to Sam Kinison)
1985-86: David Letterman
1987: Jay Leno, Howard Stern (tie)
1988: Eddie Murphy
1989: Dana Carvey
1990: Billy Crystal
1991: Jerry Seinfeld
1992: Jerry Seinfeld, Mike Myers (tie)
1993: Mike Myers
1994: Jim Carrey
1995: Chris Farley
1996: Chris Rock
1997: Garry Shandling
1998: Adam Sandler
1999: Mike Myers, Chris Rock (tie)
2000: Will Ferrell
2001: Matt Stone and Trey Parker (tie)
2002: Larry David
2003: Dave Chappelle
2004: Dave Chappelle, Jon Stewart (tie)
2005: Steve Carell
2006: Sacha Baron Cohen
2007: Larry David
2008: Tina Fey
2009: Zach Galifianiakis
2010: ????????

Bill Simmons’ List of Comedy MVPs Since 1975