Eddie Murphy On Impersonating Michael Jackson, ‘I Never Made Fun Of Him’

Eddie Murphy imitated Michael Jackson in the 1980s during his sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. While some thought Eddie roasted the King of Pop, the two were actually close friends. During a recent episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, the comedian insisted that he never made fun of Michael.

“If you look at the stuff that I did of Michael,” Eddie Murphy said, “there was never a mean spirit. It was always the funny stuff because I knew him. I never made fun of him.” Jimmy Kimmel then intervened, saying he imitated Michael. “Yeah, but I wasn’t making fun of him. He was Michael, and I was doing funny Michaels,” Eddie responded.

After that, Jimmy Kimmel asked Murphy whether Michael Jackson’s voice was always high-pitched, even in person. “No, his voice wasn’t as high as that in person,” the comedian said. Jimmy then asked Eddie whether he had met Michael’s famous pet chimpanzee, Bubbles.

“I met Bubbles,” Eddie recalled. “Michael had a big, like a real zoo at his house. A big zoo with giraffes. He had a facility that was so big that giraffes were walking around like [imitating the way giraffes walked]. It was huge.”

Recalling when he met Bubbles, he continued, “Bubbles had gotten too old, was in the cage, tripping like [makes growling noises], and Michael was like, ‘Don’t go near the cage!’ We had dinner, though. They brought the trainer and the chimps in, and they were running around while we were eating dinner. They were running under the table; it was surreal.”

So, Eddie and Michael were actually close friends, and the late musician had no issues with Murphy impersonating him and making jokes about him. Eddie also said that his jokes weren’t mean-spirited and were funny because he knew MJ well. Apparently, the two spent so much time together that Murphy even had a chance to meet Bubbles.

Bubbles was MJ’s pet chimpanzee, which he rescued from a research facility. The two frequently traveled together, and Bubbles always kept Michael Jackson company. It turns out that Eddie also met the pet chimp during one of his visits to the pop icon’s place. As the comedian recalls, it was a surreal experience seeing Michael live with so many exotic pets.