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Comedians React To Charlie Murphy's Death

After a private battle with leukemia, actor and comedian Charlie Murphy passed away on April 12, 2017, at age 57. Much more than just "Eddie Murphy's brother," Charlie Murphy left an indelible mark on the comedy world with his writing, his performances, and his undeniable charm. On the day of his passing, other comedians who loved Murphy as much as his fans took to social media to celebrate his life and remember his legacy. Here are their tributes.

Eddie Murphy

There's no question that Eddie Murphy and older brother Charlie were incredibly close, with Charlie serving as Eddie's protector while they were children before becoming his bodyguard as an adult and then writing movies for Eddie to star in. While Eddie Murphy isn't particularly active on social media—"I don't need to be on the Facebook," he once told Rolling Stone—the Murphy family released a brief statement on Wednesday afternoon following Charlie's death.

"Our hearts are heavy with the loss today of our son, brother, father, uncle and friend Charlie. Charlie filled our family with love and laughter and there won't be a day that goes by that his presence will not be missed. Thank you for the outpouring of condolences and prayers. We respectfully ask for privacy during this time of great loss for all of us."

Chris Rock

While Chris Rock is perhaps best-known for his time on Saturday Night Live, his more recent movie roles, or his 1996 comedy special Bring The Pain, Chris made his first steps to stardom with his low-budget comedy movie CB4, which he starred in alongside Charlie Murphy. After learning of Murphy's passing, Rock shared a photo of Murphy from CB4 on his Twitter account, letting his fans know that "We just lost one of the funniest most real brothers of all time."

Dave Chappelle

Fans of John Mayer got an unexpected surprise Wednesday night at his concert in Columbus, Ohio, when Ohio local and Chappelle's Show creator Dave Chappelle made an appearance on stage with the singer. The pair reminisced about a sketch called "Dancing for Different Cultures," which Mayer helped Chappelle out with in a 2004 episode of his series. Chappelle went on to speak briefly about the loss of Charlie Murphy, saying, "Everybody in comedy is heartbroken." Chappelle then asked the audience to put their phones down: "For just a few minutes tonight, don't take a picture or video. Let's make a memory that only we get to have."

A few audience members didn't stop filming, though, and we're glad they didn't—because it means we can share with you a touching video of John Mayer singing "You're Gonna Live Forever In Me," as Chappelle tells Murphy, "Rest in peace, Charlie Murphy. We love you, we love your comedy, we love your stories, and we love your spirit."

Bill Burr

On his "Monday Morning Podcast" (actually recorded on Thursday afternoon), Burr paid tribute to Charlie Murphy, whom Burr worked with on both Chappelle's Show and on the set of the 2007 comedy Twisted Fortune. Burr revealed on his podcast that he hadn't talked to Charlie in about a year and hadn't known that Murphy was as sick as he was. Burr went on to relate a time that Charlie "saved my a**" from a serious beatdown at the gym. He also shared some other tales from life on the road with Charlie and Donnell Rawlings, when the three did a comedy tour across the Midwest. He was "a great comedian, a great friend; just one of the best people I've ever met," Burr said.

Kevin Hart

While Kevin Hart is better known today for his parts in the Scary Movie franchise and his stand-up comedy specials and albums, Hart got his start on the big screen with his role in the 2002 crime comedy Paper Soldiers, in which he starred. Charlie Murphy also appeared alongside Hart in Paper Soldiers, playing a detective in the film. Upon hearing of Murphy's passing, Kevin Hart made a heartfelt post to Charlie on his Instagram account, thanking Murphy for not only believing in him, but for being his friend through the years.

Leslie Jones

Leslie Jones has recently come into the limelight, especially with her recent roles on Ghostbusters and Sing. But before she earned her spot on SNL in 2013, Jones was another struggling up-and-coming comedienne and actress. One of the early roles that Jones landed was the part of Tasha in 2010's Lottery Ticket, which Jones filmed with Charlie Murphy, Ice Cube, and Mike Epps. After hearing of Murphy's passing, Jones used Twitter to share a photo of her with Charlie on the set of Lottery Ticket.

Neal Brennan

Neal Brennan, a comedian and writer has worked on Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show, among other projects. He also worked together with Charlie Murphy on the set of Chappelle's Show, which Brennan co-created along with Dave Chappelle.

Brennan posted a tribute to Murphy on his Twitter feed Wednesday, featuring a collage of photos from some of Murphy's best moments, and letting the world know that Charlie "changed my life."

George Wallace

In comedy circles, George Wallace is something of a legend, cutting his teeth in the late '70s as a performer and writer on The Red Foxx Show before going on to become one of the most celebrated comics of the '90s. Yet even George Wallace was in awe of Charlie Murphy, and he took to Twitter on Wednesday, wishing his friend peace and sharing one of Murphy's anecdotes about his life, which originally appeared in a 2011 Esquire article.

Paul Mooney

For years, Paul Mooney has been behind the scenes at some of our favorite comedy shows, working as a writer for Good Times, In Living Color, and even Richard Pryor. It wasn't until Mooney started appearing as "Negrodamus" alongside Charlie Murphy on Chappelle's Show that many fans got an up-close look at his comic abilities. While Paul has been dealing with his own struggle with prostate cancer, Mooney paid tribute to Charlie Murphy on Twitter after his passing Wednesday, expressing his deep sorrow over Murphy's death.

George Lopez

George Lopez had worked with Charlie Murphy recently, when the two (along with several other comedians) toured together on The Comedy Get Down tour around the United States. The two also teamed up in 2016 for Meet the Blacks, along with Mike Epps and Gary Owen. Lopez posted on his Instagram account Wednesday, sharing a recent text message Murphy had sent him as well as a backstage photo from one of their recent shows.

Mike Epps

Mike Epps came to prominence in comedy with his roles in Ice Cube's stoner comedy films Next Friday and Friday After Next. Epps would later work alongside Charlie Murphy and Paul Mooney in the 2016 comedy-horror film Meet The Blacks. They'd also film together for the 2010 comedy Lottery Ticket, along with Bill Bellamy and Leslie Jones. After learning of Murphy's passing, Epps posted a photo of the two together on his Twitter account, telling Murphy, "we will ride for you bro."

Cedric the Entertainer

Whether you remember him from Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Def Comedy Jam, Barbershop, or The Steve Harvey Show, there's no question that Cedric Kyles is one of the comedic legends of our time. Cedric was a close friend of Charlie Murphy, and the pair traveled together in recent months on The Comedy Get Down tour. After Murphy's passing, Kyles spoke with the Tom Joyner Morning Show about Charlie's diagnosis, and he also shared several memories about his friend via his Instagram feed.

Life is full of swift transitions... this brother #CharileMurphy is a real loss. #RIPCharlie🙏🏾

A post shared by Cedric The Entertainer (@cedtheentertainer) on

Dane Cook

While actor and comedian Dane Cook never had the opportunity to work directly with Charlie Murphy on a project, Cook clearly knew what a comedic treasure the world had in Murphy.

He shared his thoughts about the sad news on Wednesday via Twitter, calling Murphy a "really nice, really funny guy," and remembering the many times "our paths crossed over the years."

D.L. Hughley

D.L. Hughley worked together with Charlie Murphy on The Comedy Get Down tour, and after learning of his passing, Hughley shared his memories of Murphy on his own radio show, The D.L. Hughley Show. Calling him "a great comic, and a man's man," Hughley gave Murphy a fitting eulogy, before breaking down into tears: "He was the best storyteller I ever heard. He rushed home to be with his family after every gig. He did comedy his way, and he died with gigs on the books." Hughley also shared a behind-the-scenes photo from their tour on his Twitter feed, imploring Murphy to "Rest in Paradise, my brother."

Kevin Smith

Superstar comedy director Kevin Smith has long been a fan of Chappelle's Show, particularly Charlie Murphy's work. In his 2007 autobiography My Boring-Ass Life, Smith extolled Murphy's virtues. "But the un-sung hero of [Chappelle's Show] has gotta be Charlie Murphy," he writes. "The man is one of the most real human beings I've ever seen on TV and a dazzling storyteller. There are comedians, there are comic actors, there are monologuists, and there are storytellers, and Charlie Murphy is a phenomenal storyteller. ... He can make you laugh and make you feel, and he'll put you directly into the moment of the tale he's telling. The guy's amazing."

While many of us are familiar with Charlie Murphy's tales about Rick James and Prince, Smith recommends we check out a different clip. "Pop in the [Chappelle's Show] bonus features disc and go right to the Charlie Murphy story entitled, 'That's My Brother.' ... There's no reenactment footage ... just Charlie, in front of a green screen, weaving a word tapestry that paints a picture so well, it makes me jealous." After learning of Murphy's passing, Smith reiterated his love for Charlie with a post on Twitter, calling Murphy "one of the greatest storytellers I've ever heard in my life."

David Alan Grier

David Alan Grier got his start in comedy back on the set of Keenan Wayans' hit show In Living Color. He would eventually get a chance to work with Charlie Murphy when the two worked together on Deon Taylor's 2008 comedy The Hustle, with Murphy in one of the lead roles as part of a bumbling duo trying to repay a debt to gangsters. Like many other celebrities, comedians, and friends of Murphy's, Grier expressed his sorrow on social media Wednesday.

Russell Peters

Charlie Murphy's influence and friendship broke international borders, as evidenced by the reaction of Canadian comedian Russell Peters after he heard the news of Murphy's passing. Peters shared a long post on Instagram about his friend, along with a photo from a past tour event they attended together. "It is with true sadness that I say bye to my friend Charlie Murphy," Peters writes. "We used to have the strangest and funniest conversations, he was an amazing human, a great father, and completely selfless, which is why he never once told anyone about his illness... Because he didn't want us to worry."

Eddie Griffin

As another member of The Comedy Get Down tour lineup, Eddie Griffin worked with fellow performer Charlie Murphy as they toured the country together—but their friendship goes back years and the pair worked together on the 2007 comedy Norbit, which starred Charlie's younger brother, Eddie. After learning of his death, Griffin used Twitter to share a photo of himself with Charlie from their Comedy Get Down tour, calling Murphy "my Brother for years, my friend; a God fearing man that feared no man."