Eddie Murphy tells Jimmy Kimmel about his $100,000 bet with Richard Pryor, and more from his ‘surreal’ life in Hollywood
He may not look like it, but Eddie Murphy has lived a lifetime in Hollywood, and during his interview on Wednesday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! he offered up just a small sampling of some of the things he’s seen through the years.
Whether it was calling out Richard Pryor over a bet in the liner notes of his album or hosting an event for Sammy Davis Jr. in 1990 that was filled with the most famous — and random — people you could imagine, Murphy had plenty to talk about with Kimmel.
Here’s a look at some of the highlights from their chat.
Betting with Richard Pryor
At one point during the interview Kimmel pulled out Murphy’s 1985 music album How Could It Be, which featured his Rick James-produced top ten single, “Party All the Time.” But what Kimmel found to be interesting was a few things written in the liner notes, which he read:
“Special thanks to Michael Jackson and Prince, simply because it’s hip to have your names on my album.”
“To Richard Pryor, my idol, with whom I have a $100,000 bet. No motherf****r, I didn’t forget.”
Naturally Kimmel asked Murphy about the bet and got the lowdown. It turns out when Pryor found out that Murphy wanted to do an album with strictly music — as opposed to the comedy angle he was already a proven star at — Pryor didn’t believe that he would do it, so Murphy bet him $100K.
“And then I did it and he never paid me,” Murphy said, adding that he never really brought it up even though they later worked on the movie Harlem Nights together.
Hanging with, well, everyone
Speaking of Pryor, he was one of the many faces that showed up in a photo Kimmel had of when Murphy hosted Sammy Davis Jr.’s 60th Anniversary special in 1990.
Along with Davis Jr. and Murphy, among those pictured in the photo are Frank Sinatra, Mike Tyson, Goldie Hawn, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Clint Eastwood, Tony Danza, Ed McMahon, Dionne Warwick, Dean Martin, Magic Johnson and Michael Jackson.
Murphy remembered just being around “classic old show business superstars” like Sinatra, who Murphy met for the first time that night.
“He said, ‘hey Eddie, you’re looking younger every day.’ That’s what he said to me, I was like 24,” Murphy said of Sinatra. “It kinda felt like he didn’t know my name or didn’t really know me and was just saying something backstage.”
Another person from the photo was Lola Falana, who Kimmel knew but thought most people wouldn’t remember. But Murphy certainly did, considering he went on a date with the actress, who is nearly 20 years older than him, when he was around 21.
“It was a completely surreal night,” Murphy said about the date. “And you know what, I ate dinner with her and then her cook came out, and the cook was the guy that played Bookman on Good Times. Johnny Brown.”
The photo also prompted a discussion about the rumor that Stevie Wonder isn’t actually blind, to which Murphy said he “could see why.” It also led Murphy to talk about going to movie nights at Davis Jr.’s house, where he would meet people like Lucille Ball and music duo Steve and Eydie.
“I have in life a lot of surreal moments,” Murphy said at one point.
Playing Axel Foley… again
While Murphy was there to promote his new Christmas movie for Prime called Candy Cane Lane, he did discuss the filming of a highly anticipated upcoming project: Beverly Hills Cop 4. Kimmel brought up the fact that Murphy is once again stepping into the shoes of a character he first played 40 years ago, which Murphy said was a reality that certainly came up while on set.
“There was a scene where they wanted me to run down these steps … these cement steps. And after I did it, the director said, ‘can you come down faster with more of a sense of urgency?’ And I was like, ‘no I can’t,’” Murphy said. “I had to tell him, ‘hey listen now, I know I still look like Axel Foley, but don’t ask me to do nothing you won’t ask Morgan Freeman to do.’”
Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on ABC.