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Eddie Murphy’s back in a big way lately. His new film Coming 2 America, the sequel to the 1988 comedy Coming to America, just dropped on Amazon Prime Video.

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Murphy’s been in a few high-profile projects lately, which is a change from the acting hiatus he took for a portion of the 2010s — and on a recent episode of WTF with Marc Maron, the comedian and actor explained why he took the time off.

Eddie Murphy at the Critics' Choice Awards in Santa Monica in 2020

Michael Kovac / Getty Images

“I was making shitty movies,” he told Maron, referring to a string of critical and commercial bombs that earned him multiple Razzie awards, including one for “Worst Actor of the Decade.”

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The Razzies is short for the Golden Raspberry Awards, an organization that’s been handing out awards for the worst achievements in film (think the Oscars, only the opposite) since 1981.

“I was like, ‘This shit ain’t fun. They’re giving me Razzies…Motherfuckers gave me the “Worst actor ever” Razzie. Maybe it’s time to take a break’.”

Eddie Murphy in the film I Spy

Columbia Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

Murphy explained that he initially intended to only take a year off of acting, but “all of a sudden six years go by and I’m sitting on the couch.”

Eddie Murphy in Daddy Day Care

Columbia Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

Eventually, Murphy decided to return to acting after realizing what his legacy could look like if he didn’t: “I could sit on the couch and not get off it, but I don’t want the last bunch of shit they see me do [to be] bullshit.”

Eddie Murphy in Dolemite Is My Name

Netflix / courtesy Everett Collection

“The plan was to go do Dolemite, Saturday Night Live, Coming 2 America and then do stand-up and see how I felt afterwards,” he explained. “At least then they’ll know I’m funny.”

Eddie Murphy and Kiki Layne in Coming 2 America

Annette Brown / Amazon / courtesy Everett Collection

Murphy’s return to stand-up was thwarted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but he recently claimed in an interview with Kevin Hart that he plans to take the stage again when it’s safe to do so. Exciting stuff!

Eddie Murphy in Coming 2 America

Quantrell D. Colbert / Amazon / courtesy Everett Collection

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