Eddie Murphy has been surrounded by legends since his years at Saturday Night Live. His career allowed him to rub shoulders with true icons such as Richard Pryor, Stevie Wonder, Redd Foxx and Rick James. But one legend he has continued to be associated with is the late Prince, especially after Chappelle’s Show sketch. Now, Murphy has revealed just how much of the iconic Chappelle’s Show basketball story is actually true.
Over the years, the Prince basketball story from Chappelle’s Show has taken on a life of its own. People continue to quote and reference that sketch to this day. Eddie Murphy has likely been asked numerous times whether the Prince story is true or not, and the comic legend finally told the whole story on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon while promoting Coming 2 America. After telling stories about Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Pryor and Stevie Wonder, Murphy told Fallon about the Prince basketball story:
That is totally and absolutely accurate… My brother was like, 'Alright, it's going to be shirts against blouses.' [Laughs] And the blouses won, they beat the shit out of us. We had one dude on our squad that could play, named Larry, and he didn't have no shoes, so Prince gave him some sneakers. And Prince wore like two, three sizes smaller than Larry, but Larry was so excited to have Prince's sneakers on, he put those tiny sneakers on his feet, so he couldn't do his game right. He couldn’t execute, so we lost. The one dude who could play, Prince's shoes had him shutdown.
Eddie Murphy’s confirmation about the Chappelle’s Show sketch was both funny and eye-opening. The new layers Murphy added actually managed to make the story even more outlandish than the original sketch. It was also nice to hear Murphy speak so fondly of his time with Prince, and his words gave the public better insight into their friendship. Given how recluse and mysterious the late musician was, Murphy is one of a few people who can share these personal stories.
To understand the magnitude of the Eddie Murphy-Prince basketball story, one must understand Murphy’s connection to Chappelle’s Show. Murphy’s older brother, Charlie, was a recurring cast member on the iconic sketch comedy show. The older Murphy would tell stories about hanging out with brother Eddie during his '80s and '90s heyday, and the Prince basketball story was one of the most famous tales. While Charlie Murphy is no longer with us, it's nice that his younger brother was able to shed some more light on their hilarious experiences from back in the day.
One thing that can be said about all of this is that the Murphy brothers are great storytellers and had some wild experiences when they were younger. You do have to be impressed that Charlie Murphy managed to turn the biggest one into a Chappelle's Show sketch that's endured for years. And I think I speak for everyone when I say we're grateful to Eddie Murphy for finally shedding some light on this Prince story.