by Cesca Janece Waterfield
In a business that demands the strongest of work ethics, Charlie Murphy may be the hardest working comic around, and he’s about to crash. The entertainer who reached worldwide fame on “Chappelle’s Show” debuted his new weekly series “Charlie Murphy’s Crash Comedy” last month on www.crackle.com. Each week unveils another four minute hit of hilarity, and Charlie’s not afraid if it’s occasionally offensive. Expect sadistic airline security, job-hating waitresses and “guest appearances” by stars including Lil Wayne. Charlie writes all the short sketches with a little help from friend and cast mate Freez Luv. Trailers and behind-the-scenes footage extend the laughs. Directed by Lance Rivera, the cast includes Donnell Rawlings of “The Wire,” and plenty of Charlie’s friends and comedy favorites. Crackle.com, which is part of Sony Entertainment’s vast holdings, makes original short sketches and traditional full-length programs available on its site as well as on online and mobile outlets including YouTube, MySpace, and more. From his house in New Jersey, Charlie talked about “Charlie Murphy’s Crash Comedy” and his upcoming live DVD, filmed last week at the Wilbur Theater in Boston.
What are you up to these days?
I just want to make sure that people [know about] Crackle. You can download the performances out each week, because it’s a 13 week season. And also, check on me on the Boondocks. I just finished doing another season of the Boondocks and it’s really funny. I’m all over the place. I’m doing what’s best to me. [laughs]
You’re working with some talented friends on Charlie Murphy’s Crash Comedy.
Donnell Rawlings, Freez Luv, Poppy Fields, Dawn B and Smokey. I used all my friends from New York. They were close, they were available, and they came and did their thing. It’s been getting a lot of hits too. I’m doing all the writing. Freez Luv wrote, I think one sketch.
How do you film the segments?
It’s just like a TV show. We went to a soundstage in New York and we had some locations outside and we got it done. It’s exactly like a TV show.
Do you think the internet is the new direction of entertainment?
Absolutely. You know, that’s what people watch. They don’t have to wait for television. The thing with television is, this program comes on at 8 o’clock on Thursdays, so if you want to watch it, you’ve got to be home at 8 o’clock on Thursday. With the internet, you can watch whatever you want to watch, whenever you want to watch it. So there’s going to be a big movement toward the internet. I see the internet and the television becoming one entity real soon.
Fans would love to see you in a new show or a movie. Any plans for that?
Oh, I’ve got a bunch of plans. But we’ll see what’s going to happen. [laughs] You know? I’ve always got plans.
How’s the tour going?
Freez Luv is still with me. We’ll be going up to Boston Saturday night. A couple shows are going to be taped and put on DVD and go to stores. Everybody can’t get exposed to you by your just doing clubs, just by nature of how small the building is. You say, “Fourteen hundred people came to see me this weekend.” But then when you walk outside the building, you go, okay, there’s a six story building and there’s all sorts of people in that one building. So how many people in the city really see me? So the next logical step for people to see me is to put it on DVD, get it in stores, Walmart, Kmart, so that people who may not be able to go see the show, they can take the DVD and four or five of their friends can watch it for the price of one ticket or less. By the summer it’s going to be out there.
What are you currently listening to and watching?
I’m hung on the Roots right now. I like their album. The Roots, they’re doing it. I like the new Scarface album. I’ve been playing that to death. The new Jadakiss album I like. I got that the other day. That’s what’s going on with the music right now. As far as what I’m watching, I’m watching reruns. There’s nothing new in sight. I’m watching reruns of the Wire, reruns of the Sopranos. That’s why I’m involved in Crackle right now because it’s my chance and my opportunity to throw something different out there.
What are you doing different?
I’m not trying to do anything different. What it is, it’s my voice, so it has to be different. Whatever’s being done, I’m in control of the final product so it’s going to be different.