EW Staff
June 25, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

AGE 44
MUSTWORTHINESS After years in the shadow of little brother Eddie, the elder Murphy burst out with his ”True Hollywood Stories” on Comedy Central’s ”Chappelle’s Show,” putting his wry spin on his so-crazy-they-must-be-true celebrity encounters from his salad days. Because of the episode where he gets into a bitch-slapping spat with soul singer Rick James, there’s an entire country, from Wall Street bankers to schoolkids, barking ”I’m Rick James, bitch!”
AND HE’S EVERYWHERE…SERIOUSLY ”Rednecks like ‘Chappelle’s Show.’ Trailer parks tune in to the show. The projects tune in to the show. Old people. Prisons.”
BUT DON’T GET TOO POPULAR ”You keep hearing rumors that network television will pick it up. To me, network television spells the end of the show.”
EDDIE MURPHY’S BROTHER: 1986 ”I was Eddie’s stunt double on ‘The Golden Child,”’ recalls Murphy. ”They were like, ‘You’re going to run into that wall full speed. But just before you hit, you’re going to spin around and hit on your back.’… I did it like 10 times. The next day, you talk about hurting! I never did another stunt again.”
EDDIE MURPHY’S BROTHER: 2004 ”My brother called and said, ‘I’m writing a movie, I want you to come and help me write it.’… A week later, he called me back and said, ‘Steven Spielberg read the script [”Death Do Us Part”]. He bought it.”’
ON HIS MUST LIST ”I watch classic black-and-white films. It’s a lot of those films that I want to remake. The story is there — it’s incredible. And I want to retell them.”
NEXT Murphy plays a kidnapper in ”King’s Ransom,” starring ”Scary Movie 3”’s Anthony Anderson.

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