One of the ’80s’ most iconic swaggering stand-up routines is a mixed pleasure to watch again, nearly 25 years later. This is a 22-year-old Eddie Murphy in his comic patter prime, decked out in ‘fire-engine’ red leather get up, delivering his greatest material in a tour de force of livid, strutting energy. This includes his ruminations on the Ice Cream man, getting a GI Joe stuck up his ass and his Dad’s annual drunken row at the summer family barbeque – all of them worth a zillion Norbits on their own.
The main stumbling block to guilt-free nostalgia is the tirade of shocking homophobia that opens the act – you can get AIDS through kissing, apparently – which has led to Murphy blocking Delirious’ re-release for years. Simply glossed over by Murphy in the accompanying DVD interview, this ugly ignorance colours what’s otherwise a “lightning-in-a-bottle” moment of an angry young comedian on the verge of becoming a superstar.