Film Junk Premium Podcast #87: Eddie Murphy

eddiemurphy

“Listen, I know what I like, and I know you know what I like, because you were trained to know what I like, but I would like to know, what do you like?” Following up on the release of Coming 2 America last month, we took the opportunity to revisit some of Eddie Murphy’s most iconic comedies from the 1980s starting with 48 Hrs. and Trading Places, moving on to Beverly Hills Cop and The Golden Child, then concluding with the original Coming to America. The resulting conversation covered a variety of topics including the evolution and parameters of the buddy cop genre, Eddie Murphy’s music career, his collaborations with John Landis, dealing with problematic and outdated humour, and a bygone era where comedies once dominated the box office. Is Trading Places overrated or a stone cold comedy classic? Is The Golden Child underrated or a complete dud? Does Frank’s so-called comedy scale actually make any sense? Stick a banana in your tailpipe and download this month’s premium podcast below.

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  • mikeyt34

    Did Frank really say in the same breath that Animal House and John Belushi’s performance were not funny but then praise Three Amigos as comedy gold? The self proclaimed “King of Comedy” has lost his freaking mind.

  • devolutionary

    After listening, Frank’s Comedy Scale really needs a deeper dive on the regular show. It sort of makes sense until he elaborates further and it becomes insanity. Mixing metaphors between batting averages and positive to negative scales.

    I still love this Youtube mashup of “Darth Vader is Coming to America”.
    https://youtu.be/DXze55Z2GuY

  • Tessie Bixler

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  • Jay Lee

    Wow… this really wasn’t it, guys. I don’t need your opinions to align with mine for me to enjoy these preems, but you all seemed over it from the beginning. Low energy effort. If you don’t have fun with these like you did in the earlier ones and JUST do it as a job, then maybe don’t bother. Or do, what do I care, I’m just not gonna buy and listen anymore if that’s the case. Hope you get your groove back.

  • Johnny

    I disagree, though it might not have been the best one they did, it’s a pretty enjoyable listen. The comedy scale discussion is a 10/10 on my comedy scale

  • 48 Hrs. and Trading Places are both great movies but I’m not surprised that all of you missed the mark on them.

  • Sean

    Not an instant classic perhaps but I still had fun. Sorry to hear that it wasn’t enjoyable for you.

  • milan

    wasn’t in Milos Forman’s AMADEUS Mozart credited with the score???

  • TimC

    I’m not sure if he’s “officially” credited, but I’m fairly certain that the score is entirely Mozart and (a little) Salieri.

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  • I agree with Frank on this one.

  • devolutionary

    Official credits still go to Neville Marriner for conducting and John (not Johann lol) Strauss for coordination
    https://www.industrycentral.net/sites/default/files/2018-07/Amadeus-%281984%29-Poster-Wide.jpg

  • OsoDuck

    Yeah, the levity of Schindler’s List is good stuff. However, listing off everything “problematic” with the Murphy films is not good. But it got me to thinking: the idea that the act of donning blackface is the undoubted sign of an evil racist seems frankly bizarre. What is racist about the spirit of Aykroyd’s Jamaican character? It seemed harmless to me. And if you cringe at that, why not cringe at Curtis’s Swedish character, and the other fella’s Irish priest? I don’t get how poking fun at Jamaican stereotypes is racism but Murphy dressing up as white Richard Simmons is not.

  • Jay Lee

    Amen…. the woke pearlclutching has to stop. It belittles real racism.

  • Sean

    Not looking to get into a huge debate here, all I can say is I was giving my honest reaction to it. I’m not interested in writing off old movies because of this stuff but I can’t just ignore it either. It’s a discussion point. I do remember seeing blackface in Silver Streak a while back as well and it seemed less shocking and more forgivable somehow but I don’t remember why I felt that way.

    I will say that blackface has a history to it that makes it much worse than just funny accents. (And I think we’re getting to the point where even making fun of people’s accents is a bit questionable.) But sometimes the subtle “friendly” racism can be just as dangerous as the overt stuff.

  • “At least” the blackface is used as a disguise in a poor man’s Mission: Impossible style but they (the characters as well as the writers) could probably very easily have given Aykroyd a Bavarian/Swiss or Australian type of cover instead of the dreadlocks and Jamaican accent, that’s for sure.

  • Jay Lee

    Sean… not approving my response to you is cowardly. I’m done with FJ. Have fun.

  • Sean

    Relax bud… it was auto moderated by Disqus.

  • Johnny

    “should maybe take a look in the mirror and ask themselves if there are more important things to focus on.”
    Said the guy who writes paragraphs defending blackface for a joke he himself didn’t even find funny

  • Jay Lee

    Want a cookie, little girl?

  • OsoDuck

    Yeah, I get that blackface’s origin is rooted in mean-spirited ridicule. Not disputing that. It just doesn’t follow that due to its lurid history the act of putting on a black face costume always constitutes an act of racism. It’s a generic costume, not a political statement.

    Following your overall logic, however, I’d like to pose a question: How is the character Borat not an example of a seemingly raging racism? And not only is it not considered an example of racism, but, on the contrary, I just read in your Film Junk article, Borat has won some distinguished awards. Cohen is awarded for being a nasty bigot, but it’s cool because his blackface is middleeasternface. How does this happen in a world where we’ve all become so woke and sensitive to the plight of others? Shouldn’t Cohen be cancelled? If one were to answer that Cohen gets away with it because Borat is satire I would respond with this quote from satirist Jonathan Swift: “Satire is a sort of glass wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own; which is the chief reason for that kind reception it meets with in the world, and that so very few are offended with it.”

  • OsoDuck

    I would also like to suggest that mean-spirited blackface didn’t go anywhere, but now, instead of white people donning blackface to lampoon blacks, they just hire black people to act out bigoted minstrels show for them. How else can the existence of modern hip-hop be interpreted, which is owned and run by old rich white men, and heaps insult after insult on black men and women? Modern hip-hop has been the destruction of the black community.

    In fact, I’ve been going through the whole catalog of Coen brothers movies, as of late, even venturing to dip into their so-called duds. One such “dud” is 2004’s The Ladykillers, which is not even close to a dud, and it casts the eye of judgement on modern hip hop extensively. Here’s a taste:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amuLXBgAoX4

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ7x5QNuLXU

    And although it’s not on youtube, the scene that leads up to the death of Marlon Wayon’s character, is a flashback that presents him as a young child suffering insults from his cruel mother, but the scene is set with the mother out of frame as she watches the Jeffersons on television. Again, the Jeffersons was a modern minstrel show, put on by the white men who ran the television network. And that show’s crudeness is offset with the sensical elderly black Baptist heroine of the film.

    It’s very easy to see why The Ladykillers was overlooked in 2004. It presents the buzzkill of reason to our insane culture. Good movie. Check it out.

  • OsoDuck

    Malcolm X: “The worst enemy that the Negro have is this white man that runs around here drooling at the mouth professing to love Negros, and calling himself a liberal, and it is following these white liberals that has perpetuated problems that Negros have. If the Negro wasn’t taken, tricked, or deceived by the white liberal then Negros would get together and solve our own problems. I only cite these things to show you that in America the history of the white liberal has been nothing but a series of trickery designed to make Negros think that the white liberal was going to solve our problems.”

    And here in the Ladykillers we have the white liberal, who is literally full of shit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pQB1qqc0iY

    Also here is a screenshot of the scene with The Jeffersons, and lo and behold, in the center is a white man. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7304015dfaee1246725a0dfa2340810409844a7448cc1436a63173f69313ff69.jpg

  • adrianprayoga damanik