Even though both Eddie Murphy and Lawrence Martin are two comedians past their prime, the laughter and smiles both brought many throughout the 80's and 90's are etched into many peoples teenage years, coming of age years.
Both have a wide body of work, but slightly different.
Eddie got his main start on Saturday Night Live
Where as Martin made his main mark in the TV series titled 'Martin' (after his own name).
But as the years go by, I've often wondered which body of comedy holds up better...Eddies or Martins?
They both have done TV and film, and it may just be a matter of 'taste'.
Everyone has a preference, and I'm trying to figure out mine.
But with Eddie, outside of '48 hours', and 'Trading places'...and his early stand up, not sure what there is to follow.
Martin Lawrence, on the other hand, I think has a wider body of legitimate work, comedy that crosses TV and film.
Both were wonderful in their prime, in their own ways.
In the following posts I'd like to examine how each of their bodies of work are holding up over time.
One distinction I must give Eddie Murphy over Martin Lawrence is that of 'Pioneer'.
Eddie, like Richard Pryor, and Red Foxx (and a few others) hold that distinction of being pioneers for their era or generations, in that they did things at the time that no other comedians were doing or dared to do.
They opened doors for others with they're style and body of work, made or created a market so that other comedians, like themselves, were sought out.
And Eddie Murphy's stand up performance in 'Delirious' took 'black' stand up from kind of the apologetic style of Richard Pryor, to the new coming of age 'Hey, I'm in your face and insulting your sensebilities' style of the 80's.
Where particularly black comedians just unleashed social frustrations parents and grandparents kept inside but could never say candidly, and suddenly Eddie Murphy comes along and says it, but in a way that made people laugh across the board.
He pointed out a lot of absurdity of the past, said things that were obvious and needed to be said, but in a comedic manner that didn't alienate people. (that's an art), yet was Eddies strong point in his early stand up and films.
It was him who did it, and no one else, as such he will always hold that pioneer distinction that Lawrence doesn't really have.
An example of some of Eddies early stuff, an example of the above, in that he said things that everyone already thought about anyways, but couldn't say in comedic way the way he could, and mind you most of his audience was always 'white'.
Again, it's an art to be able to do what he did and yet not offend people.
And in a way people were more 'loose' back then than they are now, less sensitive in a way.
Comedy is all about 'timing', era, age.
Certain comedy worked back then that may not be so funny today or well received simply do to different times in history and where we are as a society now verses then.