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Eddie Murphy

Beginnings Murphy Citing Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor among his influences, Murphy spent most of his formative years entertaining his friends and classmates at Roosevelt Junior-Senior High School. At just 15, he began working in earnest as a stand-up comedian, eventually finding himself performing at the Manhattan club The Comic Strip. He so impressed the club’s co-owners Robert Wachs and Richard Tienken that they began to manage his career. At 19, he became the youngest regular on “Saturday Night Live,” (here, with Robert Culp), playing hilarious characters such as Velvet Jones, Mr. Robinson and a very cranky Gumby. Smith Smith decided to forgo a scholarship to MIT to pursue a career as an MC with his childhood buddy Jazzy Jeff. As the hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff George Rose / Los Angeles Times