In an effort to keep Music Video Week close to our normal field of operations, we decided to open the 80's Vault of Actors-Turned-Singers, and the result is the most effective way to blow the good graces of American moviegoers in under five minutes.
- 0:06: Already six seconds into the 80's Rock-R&B fusion background track, we are reminded that, yes, THAT Eddie Murphy. = + 5pts (At this point, he's just made Beverly Hills Cop, so forgiveness is high).
- 0:14: 80's-appropriate montage, but instead of weight training or dance-practicing, assuring us that this is a real recording studio and not a dream. = +3pts
- 0:18: Rick James' blonde willow-tree mane. = +10pts
- 0:27: Signature Eddie Murphy laugh! (Hyeh-hyeh) = + 7pts
- 0:39: “Okay, put your phones on, man.” -Rick James, in industry speak. = -8pts
- 0:59: Gratuitous Clap Count (GCC) is at 1. = -1pt
- 1:06: GCC (Rick James Edition) is at 2. = -2pts
- 1:16: Excited background singers, not being recorded, but rather “partying at this time.” = -10pts
- 1:24: Eddie's really feeling it now! = -11pts
- 1:31: Which hair metal band fired Shirtless Blazer Guy? Enuff Z'Nuff? = +12pts (Because clearly he's in it for the drugs.)
- 1:36: Rick James, Air Drum Soloist. = -22pts
- 1:37: How many people are hanging out just to watch Eddie Murphy sing? GCC is at 3. = +1 (-3pts If it were Eddie or Rick, +1pt for that guy being able to show this video to his grandkids.)
- 1:43: Eddie's REEEEALLLY feeling it, now. GCC is at 4.= -4pts
- 1:50: At this point, I have forgotten Trading Places. GCC is at 5 (We’re serious. Because they are very serious). = -5pts
- 1:57: We think those claps were the first thing they came up with when they wrote this song. By “they,” we mean Eddie Murphy and Rick “Cocaine's a helluva drug” James. GCC is at 6. = -6pts
- 2:04: At least the band is getting screen time pretending to be playing live. And Eddie's dance moves, um…exist? GCC is at 7. = -7pts
- 2:23: I'm not sure if she's starstruck or deaf, but this woman is very impressed. GCC is at 10. = -10pts
- 2:27: What's wrong with those two dudes ? Are they on ecstasy? That’s too much excitement for our comfort . = -5pts (for being creeped out.)
- 2:39: There's the old WASP in charge of making sure someone pushes dials while the drugs are happening. = +3pts
- 2:51: Eddie Murphy brings Rick James to climax through the power of funk. = -40pts
- 3:19: Fueled by drugs and raw sexual energy, Rick James will now abandon producing to strap on a bass that is (probably) not plugged in and join Eddie for some face time. GCC is at 12. = -12pts
- 3:35: Rick James improving lines to add emphasis. He forgets, “She likes to come over to my place and do drugs until sex.” = +7pts
- 3:58: “Eddie, great job! This is sure to be a classic! Now let's wrap this up and go for a gallup on the white pony until all your funny is gone!” = unscoreable, because it's unforgivable .
- 4:03: Double “OK” to the camera, which Rick James morphs into the “sign of the devil.” = -66pts
Available on: YouTube, 1980s MTV (extinct)
48 Hrs. Trading Places. Beverly Hills Cop. Three solid hits made Eddie Murphy a star (added to his stand-up classic Delirious). This chapter could have, maybe should have, ruined him. Thankfully, as serious as he seems at times here, there seems to still be a lot of fun (read: cocaine) being had by all parties, and that is what she wants to do. All the time. Eddie Murphy is a shell of the funnyman he was in the ‘80s, but if you want to laugh (and Coming to America is not readily available), this video is a doozy. Especially with a scorecard.
Score Technician: Matt “That Boy's Good!” Fleming