Eddie Murphy may have better stories than anyone else in entertainment today. On Jimmy Kimmel Live!, he added another one to the record when he revealed his $100,000 bet with the late great Richard Pryor.
Murphy returned to late-night TV on Wednesday to promote Candy Cane Lane. It’s his first Christmas movie, and one he hopes joins the ranks of Elf and How the Grinch Stole Christmas as holiday classics.
Jimmy Kimmel was just as interested in hearing about Murphy’s life in Hollywood. The late-night host took the opportunity to bring up Murphy’s 1985 music album How Could It Be.
Kimmel opened up the record and read through the liner notes. “Special thanks to Michael Jackson and Prince,” Murphy wrote, “simply because it’s hip to have your names on my album. And to Richard Pryor, my idol, with whom I have a $100,000 bet. No, motherf*****, I didn’t forget.”
Eddie Murphy revealed that Richard Pryor bet him that Murphy would not release a straight music album without any jokes. “He never paid me,” Murphy added.
Murphy didn’t exactly need the money from Pryor. How Could It Be was a success, thanks in part to the top 10 single “Party All the Time.” The album went on to be certified gold. Of course, Murphy was at the peak of his career in 1985. His net worth of about $200 million also suggests he isn’t missing Richard Pryor’s money.
Pryor and Murphy went on to work together on the 1989 film Harlem Nights. Murphy wrote, directed, and starred in the comedy/drama crime film. If ever there was a chance for him to settle the $100,000 bet, casting Pryor in the film was it. However, Murphy made it clear he never collected on the debt.
Candy Cane Lane, starring Eddie Murphy, is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video starting on December 1.