Charlie Murphy Charlie Murphy
Charlie Murphy wants people to know he's no Frank Stallone or

Tito Jackson. He's no "not-as-famous-sibling" gimmick. Judging by the sales for Chappelle's Show DVDs, many may already be well aware of this. After spending more than a decade in the shadow of his superstar brother, Eddie, Murphy's antics as a cast member on Chappelle's have finally made him his own man. Currently he is selling out comedy clubs and has a slate of movies, the last of which, King's Ransom, recently hit video stores. Insider spoke with Murphy about his career and the fate of the show that spurred millions to holler, "I'm Rick James, bitch!"

TV Guide: Your first introduction to show business was as your brother Eddie's bodyguard. Now you're coming off a major role on one of the most popular shows on TV. Did you foresee that kind of career path?
Charlie Murphy:
No. I never really had any clear-cut path in mind. When I was working as a bodyguard, I came across all these people who were involved in show business and I got to be like a fly on the wall. I learned a lot from that.

TV Guide: Is it difficult to be a performer who happens to be related to Eddie Murphy?
You've got to remember, my brother is universally recognized as one of the best stand-ups ever. So there's going be those who say, "Wait a minute, this guy is Eddie's older brother. That means that the whole time we were enjoying Eddie this guy was around. Why wasn't he doing it then?" The consensus might be, "Maybe it's because he sucks or wasn't good." I erase that by showing up.

TV Guide: Critics trashed King's Ransom, but in quite a few of those reviews you were singled out for being really funny. Are you the only thing that makes the movie worth watching?
I do end up being the guy that a lot of people like when they're watching the movie, but it's not like I'm the main character. I did King's Ransom right after coming off the second season of Chappelle's Show, so other people involved in King's Ransom got bigger billing, more money, bigger parts, the whole nine. I didn't complain about that. I went and did the best job possible — another instance of Charlie paying his dues.

TV Guide: What is the status Chappelle's Show's third season? [Titular host Dave Chappelle went AWOL in May, bringing production to a halt.] Will it ever air?
Nah, not on television. We shot over half the season, man. Season 3 is ready. But if they're not going to show it right now... when? Are they going to show it next year?

TV Guide: What do you think Comedy Central will do with the eight episodes that have already been shot?
I don't know. They had a big screening where they looked at the episodes and everyone was happy with what they had. They have possession of it. [My guess is] it'll go straight to DVD and they'll say, "Here's the Season 2 DVD for sale for Christmas — and it [will have] Season 3's unseen footage."

TV Guide: So is that it for Chappelle's Show?
Chappelle's Show is over, man. Done. It took me a long time to be able to say those words, but I can say it pretty easy now, because it's the truth. There's no way to get around it. It's a new day. I'm disappointed it ended the way it did, but I'm not angry with anybody. Chappelle's Show was like the Tupac of TV shows. It came out, it got everybody's attention, it was a bright shining star, but it burned out and for some strange reason, it burned out quick. The two seasons I acted on that show made me a star. Now I can go out and do stand-up. I'm getting movie offers. It's off the hook. Me getting to the next level or whatever's going to happen is going to come from the next things I do, but Chappelle's Show served its purpose and I'll always be grateful.