After years away from the spotlight, comedian Eddie Murphy says he's planning a return to stand-up comedy.
In comments that went largely unnoticed until this week, the Roosevelt-raised Murphy, 58, said on the Aug. 15 edition of the Netflix podcast "Present Company" that doing his upcoming Rudy Ray Moore movie biopic "Dolemite Is My Name" for the streaming service had gotten him "off the couch, and I'm happy I got off the couch.
"And I'm getting ready to start [the movie sequel] 'Coming 2 America,' " he continued. "Since I got off the couch it was like, 'Let me do some things that they want to see.' "
After recently being a guest on Jerry Seinfeld's streaming series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," Murphy is set to return Dec. 21 as guest host to "Saturday Night Live," the show that launched his career. The appearance will be his first on the comedy sketch series in 35 years. "And then next year I'm going to tour, do some stand-up," he announced.
Murphy expanded on that after "Present Company" host Krista Smith remarked that his 2015 acceptance speech for The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize was "like a little bit of a set."
"That night I was like, 'Oh, well, wow, OK … I can still do that.' … Nothing has changed except that I just don't get up on the stage and do it. But the process of sitting down and putting it together, it's like, 'Oh, I can still do that.' And it had been a while since I had just talked like that and got laughs."
Murphy, who until next month's "Dolemite Is My Name" had starred in only two movies since 2012, added, "That's when I started thinking maybe I should get on stage and do some stand-up again. But I was like, 'I don't want to just pop up out there, and just come off the couch and just be out there doing stand-up. … And the way this came together, it was like, 'Oh, man, I can tour off that movie — I can show up out there being funny after that.' "