The legendary actor-comedian, Eddie Murphy, 58, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Critics' Choice Awards on January 12. The ceremony was aired live from Barker Hangar in California, with Taye Diggs as host.
After a heartfelt introduction by comic Keegan-Michael Key, who co-stars with Murphy in Dolemite Is My Name, Murphy went on stage to accept the honor in a relaxed manner.
Not long after his acceptance speech—in which he was humble and grateful for his four-decade career—Murphy returned to the stage when Dolemite Is My Name won the Best Comedy award.
Making movies for nearly four decades
Noting that he has been making movies for nearly 40 years he said, "I've been doing it for a minute now, and being able to make a living as an actor is a privilege and a blessing, and to make your living making people laugh — you're the luckiest person on Earth to be able to do that."
The actor also spoke about the montage that was played right before he came on the stage, which included clips from some of his most celebrated films and influential sketches from his time on Saturday Night Live, in a rather hilariously self-deprecating way.
"I've played everything: a cop, a robber, a doctor, different ethnicities, animals," he said with a laugh. "I've been a donkey. I've even played a spaceship once. When young actors come up to me on the streets and say, 'Do you have any advice?', I say, 'never play a spaceship.'"
Murphy came up short in the Best Actor category
Murphy, who was nominated in the Best Actor category for Dolemite Is My Name, in which he plays filmmaker Rudy Ray Moore, came up short as that trophy went to Joaquin Phoenix for Joker.
However, he was able to celebrate the victory of the Best Comedy award with some of his colleagues when the group went on stage to accept the award. Murphy was the last to speak, but the victory left him speechless, saying he "couldn't find the words".
Dolemite Is My Name has received positive reviews from critics and fans; some are even calling it the comedian's comeback performance.
2020 is slated to be a busy year for Murphy as he is gearing to go on a stand-up comedy tour and star in the anticipated sequel to Coming to America.