Sometimes, Fewer Is More

Taking a highly selective trawl through the films of Eddie Murphy, and loading my argument, sure, but…

1988: Coming To America
Characters Played: 4
Academy Award Nominations: None

1996 : The Nutty Professor
Characters Played: 7
Academy Award Nominations: None

1999: Bowfinger
Characters Played: 2
Academy Award Nominations: None

2000: Nutty Professor II: The Klumps
Characters Played: 8
Academy Award Nominations: None

2006: Dreamgirls
Characters Played: 1
Academy Award Nomination: Actor in a Supporting Role

2006: Norbit
Characters Played: 3
Academy Award Nominations: None

… luckily, Eddie seems to have spotted the pattern I’m alluding to, and his next few films feature him just taking home one salary. Good for him.

Next time on John’s unsolicited career advice: Mike Myers (hint: doing Austin Powers with an Indian accent doesn’t constitute creativity, and may actually be a bit racist).


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  1. Maybe Mr. Murphy is taking his career choices from Alec Guiness circa Kind Hearts And Coronets. Don’t tell Myers though… Guiness also did Prince Feisl and Professor Goodbole!

  2. Mt Murphy is one of the greatest wasted natural talents of our age. A shame.

  3. I think he’s really good too – and very likable a lot of the time (as evinced by me being drawn into watching a lot of Coming To America on TV last night), but I seem to recall that he’s a fan of Sellers, who also did that ‘multiple characters’ thing. Rather like Hamlet, I think that can be more interesting for critics and the cast than it is for the audience, and I think it just acts to spread his considerable talent too thinly.
    As for Mr Myers, as much as I enjoyed the first and last Austin Powers films, I think his forthcoming Love Guru film looks like the same kind of thing with another accent (though perhaps we should be faintly grateful it’s not his usual Scottish accent, which appears to be his default comedy accent)…

  4. The Love Guru has tanked spectacularly. Harry Knowles on Ain’t It Cool memorably noting that ‘If shit had some Love Guru on it, shit would wipe it off.’ And, if this article,,20192175_20192181_20206354,00.html

    in EW is anything to go by, it’s a case of Very Bad Karma.

  5. I rather wonder if it’s too soon after ‘The Guru’ with Jimi Mistry, too…


  6. I’m not quite as keen on Murphy as you all seem to be. His recent choice of movies has been terrible, and from his heyday, only ‘Trading Places’ and ‘Coming To America’ can still be watched without cringing. Also his live shows from the same period borrow heavily from Richard Pryor. And they’re not nearly as good.

    He’s remarkably good in ‘Bowfinger’ though.

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