Eddie Murphy has an unexpected opinion about his 1996 comedy The Nutty Professor

Eddie Murphy has an unexpected opinion about his 1996 comedy The Nutty Professor


  • Eddie Murphy Considers
    The Mad Professor
    his best performance thanks to the dual roles and make-up.
  • The 1996 film was a box office hit, but audience opinions were divided.
  • Murphy’s comeback includes recent projects with Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.

Eddie Murphy recently shared an opinion on which of his own performances he prefers over another, and the result may surprise many. It seems that his 1996 remake of The Mad Professor is the film that Murphy values ​​most of his many film roles, despite heavy criticism from audiences upon its release.

The Mad Professor was originally a 1963 film starring Jerry Lewis, one of the legendary actor’s most memorable comedies. In Murphy’s version, he plays Sherman Klump, a professor who is amiable and large, but by no means an outgoing type. When he discovers a chemical formula that transforms him into the more Eddie Murphy-esque Buddy Love – who also has Murphy’s loud and energetic persona – his life is changed forever. The transformation is one that should give Klump the life he’s always wanted, but Buddy is larger than life, and Klump soon finds that he’s becoming increasingly difficult to control.

During an interview with the New York Times, Murphy explained why he thinks his performance in The Mad Professorwhich includes not only the dual roles of Sherman and Buddy, but also those of all the members of the Klump family, is what he is most proud of.

“For me, there’s no comparison. I like Bowfinger, but Nutty Professor — that stuff is real. That makeup that Rick Baker did, where you turn into a different person and there’s no trace of me, I could walk into a room and someone wouldn’t even know it was me. Let’s put it this way: I like Bowfinger, but I can think of 20 other actors who could have played that part. I can’t think of anyone else who could have played Nutty Professor.”

The Nutty Professor was a hit, but divided opinions

While Murphy himself took on nearly half of the film’s lead roles, The Mad Professor had a strong supporting cast, including Jada Pinkett Smith, James Coburn, Larry Miller, Dave Chapelle, and John Ales. The film was a box office success, grossing $274 million on a $54 million budget, and while the majority of critics liked the film, it was the moment when audiences decided they couldn’t quite stomach Murphy’s humor anymore.

The Mad Professor currently holds a respectable 64% Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes, nowhere near the 82% Lewis’ original film has. In contrast, its audience score stands at a “rotten” 44%, aggregated from reviews over the past three decades. Despite this, the film’s financial success led to the release of its sequel, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps – a disastrous decision that earned terrible reviews and a less than spectacular $166 million gross, considering its increased budget of $84 million.


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Despite several of Murphy’s subsequent films failing in similar ways, he did enjoy some success, primarily through the voice of Donkey in the Shrek franchise. Murphy recently made a comeback, with a deal with Amazon’s Prime Video that included films such as Coming soon to America And Candy Cane Avenueand now his impending return to the Beverly Hills Agent franchise on Netflix.

The Mad Professor
is currently streaming on Netflix, where it will be joined by
Beverly Hills agent: Axel F.
on July 3.