Tonight The House of Blues welcomed Charlie Murphy, back after a last minute cancellation of the original August 12th show date. Although Murphy never stated why the August show was canceled, I happen to know that day he was spotted at the airport catching a plane to Hawaii... Regardless, I was pleased Charlie Murphy rescheduled and was curious to see what his stand-up was all about.
Opening for Murphy was a fellow underground comedian that has traveled with him for many years, Freez Luv. His style was upfront, real, and quickly grabbed the audience by making fun of everyone, but especially himself. Freez Luv's jokes were easy to follow, funny on many levels, had memorable punchlines, that were delivered carefree. "I like a woman who looks like the back of a TV... with that Toshiba belly!" Without a doubt, Freez warmed up the crowd and already had many laughing out of their seats.
Charlie Murphy came onstage to an exuberant audience, as miscellaneous quotes from his skits on Chappelle's Show could be heard through the applause. Either you know Charlie Murphy as Eddie Murphy's older brother or from Chappelle's Show. I was interested to see what else he had to offer, especially in a stand-up setting.
After the cheers died down, it took a few minutes for the crowd to adjust from Freez's slapstick comedy to Charlie's matter of fact and mellow style. His style is not similar to most stand-up comedians in typical A to B followed by punchline C, rather he likes to storytell of real life situations that leave him completely baffled. Murphy joked, “Five days is long enough for kids to start questioning your authority... My kid gets out the dictionary, 'It says right here you’re supposed to be able to fix this,'" in reference to the New Jersey power outage that lasted several days. If you could stick with him for a few minutes, the hook at the end of the story was often clever and well worth it.
I thought Charlie Murphy was solid, complete with new material, absurd stories, and kept up the momentum through the performance. Near the end of the show, it was clear that half the crowd was laughing with him and the other half didn't get what they expected. Unfortunately, I believe those that were not laughing only knew Charlie for his celebrity, not his comedy. This unfair expectation is responsible for the disaster that unfolded the night before at Georgia State University (GSU), at which Charlie told the audience "Fuck you" and walked off stage.
If you like raw, real humor, and don't need a zinger or fart joke to laugh, I would highly suggest Charlie Murphy. The House of Blues Las Vegas is one of his frequent stops, so be sure to check him out, it looks like he will be around for a while. "Performed at House of Blues last night in Las Vegas. Scored an A will keep doing this till it's obvious that GSU Is ignorant!" @cmurphycomedy Sunday, November 07, 2010