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With: Eddie Murphy
Written by: Eddie Murphy
Directed by: Bruce Gowers
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 70
Date: 01/01/1983

Eddie Murphy: Delirious (1983)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)


By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Richard Pryor had already made a couple of excellent, big-screen comedy concert movies, but Eddie Murphy's TV special definitely raised the stakes. With his flashy red leather outfit, defiant delivery and big, bold material, the 22 year-old Murphy turned comedy into a rock 'n' roll show and immediately appealed to a newer, younger crowd. I loved it when I was a kid -- I was one of those guys who memorized it and repeated its many catchphrases at school -- and it still had me in stitches today. But unfortunately, the show starts out with some gay jokes that have dated badly and grown ever more offensive in our current troubled times. After that, though, it picks up, and Murphy's stories about his family ("Aunt Bunny is falling down the stairs again!") and his childhood antics are timeless and hilarious. Anchor Bay has released a 25th anniversary, two-disc DVD set (actually a year late). The feature looks as if it hasn't been touched or remastered in any way. It looks like rubbery, fluttery VHS video with no optional subtitles or audio tracks. We also get a featurette about the show's influence on several younger comics, some deleted footage and a new interview with Murphy (conducted by Byron Allen). Murphy's next concert outing, Raw, was released to big screens in 1987, but was only a pale imitation of this show.

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