Eddie Murphy Briefly Quit Acting After Receiving Decade’s Worst Actor Razzie Award

"I was like, 'This shit ain't fun. They're giving me Razzies'"

eddie murphy quit acting razzie awards
Eddie Murphy, photo via Amazon Prime Video

Over the past few years, Eddie Murphy has experienced a career resurgence, thanks to movies like Dolemite is My Name and the recently released Coming 2 America, as well as an Emmy-winning return to Saturday Night Live. The renaissance came after a five-year period in which he only released one movie. During an appearance on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast (transcribed by The Independent), Murphy explained the hiatus was prompted by his winning of the Worst Actor of the Decade Razzie.

“I was making shitty movies,” Murphy told Maron. “I was like, ‘This shit ain’t fun. They’re giving me Razzies…’ Motherfuckers gave me the Worst Actor Ever Razzie. [So I thought], ‘Maybe it’s time to take a break.'”

However, the hiatus lasted longer than Murphy originally planned. “I was only gonna take a break for a year, then all of a sudden six years go by, and I’m sitting on the couch,” he remembered. “I could sit on the couch and not get off it, but I don’t want to the last bunch of shit they see me do [to be] bullshit. The plan was to go do Dolemite, Saturday Night Live, Coming 2 America, and then do stand-up and see how I felt afterwards. At least then they’ll know I’m [still] funny.”

Murphy won Worst Actor, Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Support Actress Razzies for his respective roles in 2007’s Norbit as the titular character, Mr. Wong, and Rasputia. All told, he was nominated nine times prior to his break from acting, for movies including the aforementioned Norbit, 2002’s The Adventures of Pluto Nash and I Spy, and 2008’s Meet Dave. To top things off, Murphy was given the dubious honor of Worst Actor of the Decade at the 2010 Razzie Award ceremony,

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Between 2013 and 2018, Murphy only starred in the indie drama Mr. Church before making a triumphant return with Dolemite Is My Name. The Razzies recognized his comeback, giving him the Redeemer Award in 2019. He also received a Golden Globe for the performance, and the film was nominated for Best Picture Musical or Comedy.

More recently, he won his first-ever Emmy Award for his comeback performance on a December 2019 episode of SNL. Earlier this month, Coming 2 America debuted on Amazon Prime to solid reviews.