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15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Eddie Murphy’s ‘Raw’


Sometimes, just hearing the name Eddie Murphy causes people to laugh.  Actually,  sometimes just hearing Eddie Murphy’s laugh causes people to laugh too.

Murphy got his start on ‘SNL’ at the tender age of 19, then moved on to stand-up specials and Hollywood blockbusters before hitting a career milestone with the release of the highly successful comedy concert Eddie Murphy ‘Raw’.

To celebrate the upcoming 25th anniversary of the release of Eddie Murphy ‘Raw’, here are 15 pieces of trivia:

1. Samuel L. Jackson played Eddie’s Uncle in the opening skit.

2. ‘Raw’ was the most successful stand-up concert film of all time until ‘The Original Kings of Comedy’.

3. ‘Raw’ held the record for the most uses of the word “f*ck” in an 80s film, beating Scarface. (It was later bested in this prestigious category by Goodfellas in the 90s.)

4. ‘Raw’ had a tiny budget, but grossed a then massive $50.5M at the box office. 

Keenen Ivory Wayans co-wrote the opening sketch with Eddie Murphy.

5. The F-bomb was dropped 223 times in the film.


’Raw’ was released in the U.S. on December 18, 1987 and debuted as #1 at the box office.

7. Tatyana Ali from ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ fame, played Eddie’s sister in the opening sketch.

8. The movies tagline was “WARNING! You may be offended if you’re black, white, male, female, rich or poor, Bill Cosby, Mr. T or Richard Pryor.”

9. Mr. T was reportedly offended by Eddie Murphy’s previous portrayal of him.

10. This was the only film at the time to receive a “16” rating (another version of an “R” rating) in Iceland due to the film’s language. 

Raw was originally rated “X” by the MPAA, but was re-edited over and over until the MPAA gave it an “R” rating.


Eddie Murphy was just 26 years old when ‘Raw’ came out.

Eddie’s profanity-filled Bill Cosby impression/tirade came from an actual phone call from Bill calling Eddie and telling him not to curse so much after ‘Delirious’ came out. Cosby denied the call took place.

13. New York Magazine called Raw “depressingly unoriginal and limiting.”

14. The New York Times opened their review with “At the Embassy 3, where Eddie Murphy Raw opened yesterday, even the ushers were laughing.”


Since sex was such a prominent subject in ‘Raw’, the title has been speculated to be an allusion to unprotected sex. It actually alluded to the Cosby phone call, and Richard Pryor encouraging Murphy to curse and ignore Cosby’s advice. Murphy took the advice, decided to curse as much as he wanted, and call the special ‘Raw’.

NEXT: 10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About 'Groundhog Day'

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