<p>ESSENCE Throwback: Charlie Murphy Recalls Bombing On Stage And What He Learned From It</p>

In a 2009 interview, late comedian Charlie Murphy remembers learning the hard way how to save face during a show.


Tributes and memories of Charlie Murphy are flooding in from all over the internet. 

Celebrities and friends have shared poignant messages about the comic, who made millions laugh with his stories about Prince and Rick James on Chappelle’s Show. He also influenced and taught a number of comedians a few tricks about comedy and making people laugh.

However, in a 2009 interview with ESSENCE, the late comedian recalled learning the hard way how to put on a good show. 

“One time I had a bunch of new material that I never tried out on stage. I remember someone told me: Remember, you can’t write this in your room, it has to be written on stage. I didn’t understand the message but I did after that show,” he laughed. “I went on stage with five jokes and none of them worked. The audience was silent and looking at me like, “I don’t get it.” It was 20 minutes of torture. There’s nothing worse than someone looking at you like, What the f— are you talking about? (laughs)—it’s a horrible feeling. I remember I used to lose sleep think of the next joke. That taught me to mix a bunch of really funny jokes with the weak jokes so if you bomb no one will really know.”

Murphy passed away in New York City on Wednesday after battling leukemia. He was 57.