Q&A: Charlie Murphy: Actor, comedian, author

Charlie Murphy gained attention as a cast member on the sketch comedy “Chappelle's Show,” but the bodyguard turned writer-comedian-actor has a bigger story to tell. Fans can read about his transition from being known as Eddie Murphy’s brother to film actor in his upcoming autobiography, “The Making of a Stand-up Guy,” due this fall from Simon & Schuster.

Or they can just pop in on one of his live shows, in which Murphy is sure to give audiences a glimpse of who he is.

“What I’m pretty much giving you when you see me onstage is me, it’s not a fake character,” said Murphy, who performs Wednesday and Thursday at Uptown Comedy Corner.

Why did you decide to write an autobiography?

It’s the story of my life basically. I think I have had a remarkable and colorful life, so I decided to share it.

What did you gain from “Chappelle’s Show”?

The opportunity to be able to go into stand-up. They gave me a voice, and I was able to go out, learn my craft and have something to start with.

How has stand-up changed over the last decade?

I don’t think the scene has changed except in regard to the invention of cellphones and people being able to record things live at the show. It makes it more subject to opinion ... like when someone puts a show on YouTube, and a comedian gets in trouble for something they said onstage.

Does that make you alter your act in any way?

No. Absolutely, not. Whenever I have to change what I do, that means it is time to leave.

You come from a family of funny people. Is comedic timing something you’re born with or can it be learned?

Several of my uncles are comedians, my father is a comedian, my grandfather was known for his jokes. It definitely runs in the family.


Charlie Murphy

8 and 10 p.m. today-Thursday. $20-$30. Uptown Comedy Corner, 800 Marietta St. N.W. 404-881-0200, www.uptowncomedy.net.