Chris Rock has made no secret of his professional admiration for Eddie Murphy over the years, but does their relationship go beyond a workable one?
Rock previously revealed that Murphy has played an important role in his career. In fact, in a Saturday Night Live tribute monologue introducing the Coming 2 America star, he shared that he never believed comedy could be a source of income until he saw Murphy in action. “It changed everything… Comedy couldn’t just be a job, it could be a career… I wanted to be Eddie Murphy,” he said. And the influence didn’t stop there. Rock even credited Murphy with giving him his big break. While visiting The Comic Strip in New York, Murphy insisted Rock perform, despite not being in the cast for the night and only piling chairs after the show. “They didn’t have any black comics that night and he asked the owner of the club, ‘Where are your black boys?’ He’s like, ‘Ah… we’ve got him right here!'” he shared (via Everything Comedy News). Planned or not, Murphy was impressed, and soon after, the comedy legend landed him a role in Beverly Hills Cop 2 — a fact Rock himself confirmed on a 2021 episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
It’s pretty clear these two are huge fans of each other’s work, but our question remains…are they friends in real life?
Chris Rock and Eddie Murphy love to hang out
…That would be a resounding yes!
In addition to mutual respect in a professional sense, Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock are good friends in IRL – and it seems they’re dating fairly regularly. In a 2019 Saturday Night Live monologue, in which Murphy welcomed several comedians, including Rock, onto the stage, the “Shrek” voice actor asked when they last had a chance to hang out. Rock’s answer? “Last Thursday at [comedian] Sinbad’s,” he quipped.
It turns out Rock and Murphy have long enjoyed each other’s company after work. In 2012’s tribute to Spike Eddie Murphy, Rock even revealed that he had been a member of the former’s entourage in his early days as a comedian (via Entertainment Weekly). That was undoubtedly a dream come true, as he’s previously gushed about the aforementioned entourage, who pulled up in “Five Porsches” and leather suits (via Everything Comedy News).
However, that small detail was a bit of a sticking point for Rock’s now best friend Adam Sandler before they met. In fact, in a 2020 interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Sandler joked that he was jealous of their bond before becoming friends with Rock himself. “I kept saying, ‘Who is Chris Rock? What do you keep bringing that other guy? [up] me?’ And they’re like, ‘Well, he’s out with Eddie Murphy right now, Eddie Murphy loves him,'” he recalled. Luckily for everyone involved, Sandler was able to overcome his playful jealousy.
Chris Rock admits he’s still intimidated by Eddie Murphy
Chris Rock may be friends with Eddie Murphy, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t get nervous at all anymore. In fact, Rock is the first to joke that sometimes he’s still struck by the stars.
During a 2021 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Rock revealed he’d been rather intimidated by Murphy over time. “You know, usually… the more you meet someone, the more normal they become? And do you feel good? Eddie is the complete opposite. The more you meet him, the more scared you get,” he joked. Rock’s comments make sense in the context of something Jimmy Kimmel told Murphy on a 2019 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live. That said, Rock, fellow comedian Dave Chapelle, and Kimmel himself were positively “dizzy” to have received an invite to his apartment. The always humble father of 10 seemed surprised by the fanfare, pointing out: “You’ve been to my house before!”
I guess sometimes it can be difficult to make friends with an idol! One thing is certain, though: Murphy has the utmost respect for everyone in his inner circle. And given what he’s accomplished over the years, we’re not a bit surprised.