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Murphy's Law 

Eddie's older bro goes after fame in the wrong direction.

Comedians usually make the leap from the grit and grime of comedy clubs to the glitz and glamour of movies and TV. Not Charlie Murphy. The film actor and screenwriter readily admits his career has taken a back-assward path, now that he's fine-tuned his stage show cross-country for five years. "There was a demand for me. People would call my agent. He asked, 'Can you do this?'" says Murphy. "I went down to a comedy club, and I've been doing stand-up ever since." If his name rings a bell, it should. Murphy's not only the older sibling of his more famous brother, Eddie; he's also best known for his regular gig on Chapelle's Show. His "I'm Rick James, bitch!" comeback line became the program's signature catchphrase. "That was totally unplanned," says Murphy. "We just did it, and it came out to be what it was." Although he's acting in five movies now in production, Murphy continues his nationwide comedy-club tours. But don't call him a comic. "I don't tell joke, joke, joke, joke," says Murphy. "I'm a comedian." He performs at 8 and 10:15 p.m. today and tomorrow, and 7 and 9:30 p.m. Sunday at the Improv, 2000 Sycamore Street on the West Bank of the Flats. Tickets are $28. Call 216-696-4677 or visit www.clevelandimprov.com.
Jan. 11-12, 8 & 10:15 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 13, 7 & 9:30 p.m., 2008

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