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DVD Review: “Eddie Murphy Delirious: 25th Anniversary Edition”

George Lang Published: May 22, 2009

Rating:94

Almost no one enjoys “Eddie Murphy Delirious” like men who were teenagers in 1983. They were getting away with something when they watched “Delirious” on HBO or made cassette copies of its tie-in comedy album, “Comedian.” Murphy, then only 22 years old, struck a match to their nice vocabulary and good behavior with his flawless comedic delivery, prolific profanity and toxic taste. As Murphy said in his classic segment “The Barbecue,” “Now that’s a fire!”

“Delirious,” now reissued for its 25th anniversary, is packed with such catchphrases, and Murphy, parading around Washington, D.C.’s Constitution Hall stage in a bright red leather suit he bought off the rack just before the show, made every single joke land on a bull’s eye. Granted, he starts the show with some noxious gay jokes that don’t pass the smell test 25 years later, but everything else surprisingly feels fresh thanks to Murphy’s impeccable, uproarious comic timing and great impersonation skill.

It’s been over two decades since Murphy performed stand-up, and the tradeoff for a recent string of forgettable family films stings now. But the second disc in this commemorative collection includes an interview in which Murphy, now 48, shows signs of the old magic. He tells interviewer Byron Allen that he is considering a return to stand-up, and Murphy could do far worse. If someone doesn’t put wheels under this idea, he might make “Meet Dave 2” instead.