A Brief History of Every Eddie Murphy Celebrity Feud
With the possible exception of 60 to 65 percent of his more regrettable stand-up bits from the 1980s, we all love Eddie Murphy. He’s Axel Foley, Prince Akeem, and most recently, Dad Who’s Forced to Put Up with Jonah Hill for an Hour and Fifty-Eight Minutes.
But apparently, not everyone loves Eddie Murphy (even in addition to those who shelled out eight bucks to see Norbit). Throughout his career, Murphy’s relationships with other celebrities have occasionally had a metaphorical banana stuck in the tailpipe of social decorum, such as his reported “feuds” with…
This notorious spat began on Saturday Night Live, as part of Spade’s popular recurring segment in which he ridiculed celebrities with over-the-top, snide put-downs: “Hollywood Minute,” or as it would eventually be known, “Big Talk From the Future Star of Joe Dirt 2.” One fateful night, after tearing into the likes of Tony Danza and Heather Locklear, Murphy’s photo appeared, prompting Spade to say: “Look, children, it’s a falling star. Make a wish.”
Yeah, Murphy was not happy about this. According to Spade, come Monday morning, Murphy called the SNL offices and berated him for the joke, yelling, “You dumb motherf**ker! I’m off-limits, don’t you know that? You wouldn’t have a job if it weren’t for me.” Reportedly, Murphy stayed away from the show, not even participating in anniversary specials, purely because of this one Spade burn. Eventually, the two reconciled thanks to the mediation of Chris Rock, and Murphy once again hosted SNL in 2019.
While reports that Murphy went through a “bitter feud” with his Coming to America co-star Arsenio Hall seem to have been fabricated, Murphy did clash with the original film’s director Landis, who also made classics like The Blues Brothers and An American Werewolf in London… and who was also famously tried for involuntary manslaughter (and eventually acquitted) for his role in the Twilight Zone accident that led to the deaths of three actors, two of whom were small children.
After the tragedy torpedoed Landis’ reputation, Murphy had to fight the studio to convince them to hire his former Trading Places collaborator to helm Coming to America. According to Murphy, Landis showed up with a ton of “attitude” and publicly intervened in one of Murphy’s unrelated TV deals — at which point, Murphy claims he grabbed Landis “around the throat” and warned him to mind his own business. And when Landis reached out to grab Murphy’s balls, he “cut his wind off,” and the director fell down to the ground. Which is probably why Coming 2 America was directed by not John Landis.
Taking sides on this one shouldn’t prove too difficult. Per Murphy, Bill Cosby was "s**tty" to him in a way that he wasn’t with other comedians, lecturing the younger comic about his crude material — of course, this was back when a movie about a guy who gets randomly murdered by a Satanist was considered family-friendly content. Murphy publicly aired his frustrations with Cobsy’s arrogance and condescension in Raw.
And while his stand-up may have been full of F-bombs and occasionally repugnant opinions, unlike Cosby, Murphy isn’t, how do you say, a… goddamn monster? Murphy pointed out this fact when he hosted SNL, quipping, “If you had told me 30 years ago that I’d be this boring, stay-at-home house dad, and Bill Cosby would be in jail ... even I would have took that bet.”
Cosby’s publicist responded to the monologue by saying, “One would think that Mr. Murphy was given his freedom to leave the plantation, so that he could make his own decisions; but he decided to sell himself back to being a Hollywood Slave.” Which is the kind of thing one might expect from someone who has elected to take the job of being Bill Cosby’s publicist.
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