For Charlie Murphy, the declaration “I’m Rick James, bitch!” has never sounded sweeter. As the breakout star of Comedy Central’s Chapelle’s Show, Murphy spun comic gold — including the catchphrase du jour — from the story of his friendship with the late superfreak. As a result, Murphy is finally getting a little cosmic justice in return for his stint as bodyguard to his dolittling younger brother Eddie.
For his current I’m Rich, Biatch! tour, the writer, actor and erstwhile rapper has taken on the role of stand-up comedian. “I’ve done everything. I’m the E-man,” Murphy humbly tells the Pitch. “I’m working with all these comics, so when the show went on hiatus, I decided to do this.”
Murphy took to the road in July, bringing along fellow Chapelle’s Show members Donnell Rawlings (famous for portraying Ashy Larry, the cracked-out contestant in the “World Championships of Dice”) and Bill Burr, the show’s token white dude and Deadpan Sports Commentator.
“Me and Donnell have been doing stand-up for 12 years, so we’re seasoned veterans,” Burr says. “And Charlie’s retarded, so he’s always funny.”
When the Pitch reaches the trio, they’re traveling through Iowa in a limousine, eating lunch and cracking each other up.
“You want to know about Bill Burr’s act?” Murphy asks. “He’s kind of like Carrot Top without the phone booth. ”
The three explode with laughter, and the phone gets passed around to Rawlings, who reminisces, “I rode this chick named Barbara to the show the other day. Doggie style.”
They ride into the Beaumont on Friday, promising to take no prisoners when it comes to Catholic priests and Michael Jackson — “We got their number,” Rawlings says — but also dishing out the bizarre ghetto satire that has made Charlie the only Murphy who matters right now.
“Hey, at the end, put in, ‘If you wanna be rich, bitch, come to the I’m Rich, Bitch [sic] show,'” Rawlings shouts across the limo.
All right, you heard the man.