This week Netflix released an extended trailer for what could well be Eddie Murphy’s comedy comeback, Dolemite is My Name, and it’s everything we’d hoped it would be!
According to the synopsis, “Stung by a string of showbiz failures, floundering comedian Rudy Ray Moore (Academy Award nominee Eddie Murphy) has an epiphany that turns him into a word-of-mouth sensation: step onstage as someone else.
Ok, I’ll admit, on paper that all sounds a bit wacky and farfetched, but trust us, they were able to pull it off. In actuality, Murphy is telling the story of Moore, who pulled his way up from poverty and obscurity to become one of Black comedy’s most influential performers before creating his “Dolemite” series, which is considered a centerpiece of the Blaxploitation genre. But he lost it all when the spotlights went out and audiences moved on.
So here are five reasons why Murphy’s homage to the late comic, due this fall on the streaming service, is a bonafide must see.
Eddie Murphy. Period
Let’s be clear, Eddie Murphy is a comedy legend. And an elusive legend at that. Back in 2015 during Saturday Night Live’s 40th anniversary special, people sat glued to their televisions hoping for even a glimpse of the actor. And when he did make a quick appearance lasting just over a minute, that’s all anyone would talk about the next day.
For years die-hard fans have been waiting for the 58-year-old’s return to the screen. So last month when it was reported that he was in talks with Netflix to produce an undetermined number of new standup specials, of course Black Twitter rejoiced.
Now just a few weeks later, we’re already getting a taste of what that beautiful partnership has in store for us over the next few years.
The list of A-listers
Aside from Murphy, Dolemite is My Name also boasts an impressive and colorful cast of characters. In fact the line up is so lit we hope they release some behind the scenes footage of the hijinks that you know ensued on set during the filming.
The film will brings back a host of the real life people in Moore’s life and who played important roles in his career. Da’Vine Joy Randolph (Lady Reed), Keegan-Michael Key (Jerry Jones), Mike Epps (Jimmy Lynch), Craig Robinson (Ben Taylor) and Wesley Snipes (D’Urville Martin) lead the A-list cast. Backing them up with cameos of their own are Tip “T.I.” Harris, Luenell, Snoop Dogg and Chris Rock
Some of these epic 70’s fashions are so elaborate, it took us a second to even spot Tip “T.I.” Harris in the trailer the first time around. Check it out below and see for yourself.
It looks funny AF
If you watched the whole three-minute trailer above without at least cracking a smile, you may need to go back and watch it again. Because not only is it a shameless display of a good time, you can almost see the actors trying to keep a straight face in some of the scenes. And one can only imagine how many unscripted but hilarious ad libs made it into the final cut.
In times like these, when the 24-hour news cycle seems determined to have us feeling like all hope is lost, this is exactly when comedy is most needed. Not just for entertainment, but some would argue even as a form of self care.
Now are we saying that watching Dolemite is My Name will lift your spirits as much as taking a bubble bath or having a spa day? Honestly, it just might.
We’re rooting for everyone Black
“This is a new day. Built from the ground broken by legends. A day for our generation to see untold experiences of our Blackness.”
Those are the first words spoken in “A Great Day in Hollywood,” a Netflix commercial that debuted in 2018 featuring Black creatives.
Since then, the company has shown an unwavering commitment to their “Strong Black Lead” initiative and it’s been amazing to see projects by people of color being greenlit left and right on the streaming service.
We all know how this works, when a program that is both for us and by us does exceptionally well, (like Beyonce’s ridiculously successful Homecoming documentary) not only does it fare well for the artist, it also increases the incentive to give other Black projects the same opportunity.
I LOVE THAT RUDY RAY MOORE IS FINALLY GONNA GET HIS SHINE!!!!!!! #Dolemite
— beeaboutmoney (@beeaboutmoney) August 12, 2019
It’ll hold us over until Prince Akeem’s return
Earlier this year it was confirmed that Murphy would reprise his role as Prince Akeem, in the looooong awaited Coming 2 America. The sequel 30 years in the making, is shaping up to be a star-studded affair with Arsenio Hall and James Earl Jones returning and teaming up with Kiki Layne, Rick Ross, and again, Wesley Snipes.
For those of us waiting to find out what’s going on in the kingdom of Zamunda, and itching to see Murphy and Hall return to the roles they originated in the beloved 1988 original, it almost feel like Dolemite is the perfect offering to gear us up for what appears to be the greatest comedy comeback since Dave Chappelle.
Hopefully this quick list has swayed you to check out the film, but for true Eddie Murphy fans, this feels like a no brainer.
But until then, we’ll leave you with this throwback GIF of Murphy and the late Rick James. Tell us in the comments below if you remember this 1985 track.