Eddie Murphy in "Delirious"

Eddie Murphy in "Delirious"


This child of the 1980s remembers when there was no one funnier than Eddie Murphy. Before "Shrek." And "The Nutty Professor." And "Bowfinger." And "Daddy Day Care." And "Meet Dave."

There have been so many times that Murphy has been buried, he's managed to come back, albeit a little safer and a little more mainstream. The misses ("Norbit"? "Pluto Nash"?!?) are beginning to outnumber the comeback hits, which do include "Dreamgirls," "Boomerang" and "Coming to America."

But it does stoke the curiousity to hear that Murphy will host the Oscars. The Academy Awards too have had more misses than hits in its hosting choices as of late: James Franco and Anne Hathaway, for instance. Or Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. Even Jon Stewart, Ellen DeGeneres and Chris Rock had their struggles as Oscar hosts.

One shining star not named Billy Crystal has been Whoopi Goldberg. And if her stand-up humor can be tamed without taking out the funny, Murphy, now 50, if you can believe it, has a fighting chance.

The imagination is delighted to picture the young Murphy of "Delirious" as the Oscar host. And "Delirious" was jam-packed with entertainment commentary. Elvis as his movie career? That routine still whirls in my head, memorized in the era before YouTube. (There was such a day, kids.) Ralph Kramden and  Ed Norton. (Not that Ed Norton...) Sorry, no YouTube links from here. You can find them, f-bombs and all, on your own.


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