“I want to let you know that there is a definitive blueprint that you can follow to achieve success, prosperity, longevity and peace of mind,” Murphy said at the end of his speech. “It’s a blueprint and I’ve followed it my whole career. It’s very simple, just do these three things: pay your taxes, mind your business and keep Will Smith’s wife’s name out of your fucking mouth!”
The joke — which, of course, references the infamous moment at last year’s Oscars when Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock for making a jab at Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia — resulted in rapturous, shocked laughter from the audience.
The Cecil B. DeMille award, which has been given to standout filmmakers and performers in the entertainment industry since 1952, was presented to Murphy by Tracy Morgan and Jamie Lee Curtis. Murphy starred with Morgan in the original “Coming to America” and its 2021 sequel; he worked with Curtis on “Trading Places” in 1983.
Murphy has previously been nominated for six Golden Globes, winning in 2007 for his performance in “Dreamgirls,” for which he was also Oscar-nominated. He’s also a five-time Emmy nominee, winning in 2020 for his stint hosting “Saturday Night Live,” and a three-time Grammy nominee, taking home the award for best comedy recording in 1984.
Some of Murphy’s most notable comedies include “Norbit,” “The Nutty Professor,” “Daddy Day Care” and “Trading Places,” as well as popular film series like “Coming to America,” “Beverly Hills Cop” and “Doctor Dolittle.”
Murphy is set to appear in a slew of new films in the coming years following a three-picture, first-look deal with Amazon Studios. The star will perform alongside co-stars Jonah Hill, Lauren London, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Sam Jay and Nia Long in director Kenya Barris’ rom-com, “You People,” which Barris and Jonah Hill co-wrote.