Friday, September 15, 2006

Charlie Murphy is funnier

Photo by: Danny Greene

If Charlie Murphy revamped the first half of his set,
he'd be great. At a nearly sold-out Comedy Zone on
Thursday, the "Chappelle's Show" star was much
improved over his last performance here, but he
started painfully slow.

He wasted the first 30 minutes telling airplane
security jokes with punchlines that fell flat and
stories that dragged on and on. He seemed to plow through
the material, and he never looked relaxed on stage or
willing to engage the audience. He acted as if he were
reading from a script.

The second half was better. He gave fans what they
wanted to hear, and something they can't get from other
comedians: his takes on life as Charlie Murphy, a
star of "Chappelle's Show." He relaxed as he talked
about being approached by fans of all ages who called
him "Darkness" or asked if they could jump on his couch
(references from the show).

His tales of hanging out with Rick James were
absolutely hysterical, and his impersonations of the
singer were dead-on.

Trying to recapture that in the blog wouldn't do it
justice, but here are a few of my favorites lines of
the night:

n"It's a shame how much I love my own name -- CHARLIE
n"I'm not tired of the s---. Let's not forget my name
was 'Eddie Murphy's brother' for the last (few) years."
n"The chicken flu -- I hope y'all don't think I don't
know who that's for. What's next, the Newport virus?"

For now, he should work on stretching the Charlie Murphy
and "Chappelle's Show" material out longer. If Murphy
insists on tackling current events, he needs to
freshen up the material. In recent weeks, we've had
"Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin's death, gas prices have
dropped, "Survivor" divided its tribes based on race,
and Whitney Houston filed for divorce from Bobby Brown.
Murphy didn't talk about any of that.

Murphy performs at the Comedy Zone through the weekend -- 8 p.m. and
tonight and
Saturday; 8 p.m. Sunday.