Taped live and in concert at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. in August, 1983, Eddie Murphy “Delirious” captures Eddie Murphy’s wild and outrageous stand-up comedy act. Reminiscences of hot childhood days and the ice cream man are intermixed with classic vocal parodies of top American entertainers. Here then, is 22-year old Eddie Murphy, live and red hot! Uncensored and Uncut!


Originally presented on HBO way back in 1983, this one-two-three career punch by Eddie Murphy was to every teenage kid of the 80’s one of the most quoteable stand-up routines of their lives. To quote Murphy himself, most of us at the time only knew of Eddie as that black guy doing Buckwheat on Saturday Night Live and that funny 48HRS film. Little did we know that it was his stand-up career (started at the young age of 14) that got him there in the first place. So to see this young dynamic 22 year old performer hit us yet again with a brillant full-length comedy routine was just the amazing icing on the cake. He was our younger version of Richard Pryor the generation earlier. And HBO feed us this special throughout the 80’s, again and again, and we came back each and every time.

However, after a world-changing over twenty-five years later, does the material still hold up? Absolutely. Throughout it’s 70 minute runtime, Murphy spouted stories, impressions, and humor that remain timeless, be it the excitement of the Ice Cream Man, to just how fun flatulence can be, and the humors of how parents can be so similar no matter what color or area you grew up in. Sure, fashions change but can you imagine Murphy without that red “Elvis from Hell” suit on telling these jokes? Yes, a couple of bits like AIDS/homosexual intolerance and Michael Jackson’s only quirk being his feminine-like composure seem a tad dated, but their timing and presence still remind us of what comedians are still telling to this day. There’s no way you can watch this and not see comics like Chris Rock and Dave Chappell “borrowing” a couple of pointers straight from Delirious. And unlike his big venue concert follow-up 1987’s Raw, Delirious shows Eddie at a career point where he still didn’t know if people would accept him as a stand-up as well as funny actor. Raw is where he was King, Delirious shows the young man that could be.

The DVD is quite expensive for a film that has already been on DVD with most of those special features ported over. The A/V Quality is on par, but I don’t remember seeing the full pre-show concert before the film. There’s some more never before seen footage and some interviews with Eddie Murphy. What I would’ve liked to seen is a featurette that takes a lot of Murphy’s early homophobic content into question. Especially, since he’s trying to re-position himself as a family comedian. Still, I recommend it for purchase to all that don’t own it. 
RELEASE DATE: 06/02/09



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