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Eddie Murphy has not forgotten his $100k bet with Richard Pryor: 'He owes me'

The "Candy Cane Lane" star's idol once wagered that he would never make a joke-free musical album, but he did.

<p>Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty, Getty Images/Bob Riha, Jr.</p> Eddie Murphy has an unresolved bet with his late idol, Richard Pryor

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty, Getty Images/Bob Riha, Jr.

Eddie Murphy has an unresolved bet with his late idol, Richard Pryor

Among the many sad things of losing a friend or mentor is you no longer get to tell them "I told you so." When Eddie Murphy appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Wednesday night to promote his new Christmas movie Candy Cane Lane, he revealed that he has some unfinished business with his late idol, Richard Pryor.

Pulling out a vinyl copy of How Could It Be, Murphy's debut musical album from 1985, Kimmel read aloud one of the dedications: "To Richard Pryor, my idol, with whom I have a $100,000 bet. No motherf-----, I didn’t forget." Murphy then obligingly open up about the bet.

"When I told him I was doing a musical album, he bet me $100,000 that I wouldn’t put out a music album where there’s no jokes or nothing, it’s just all music," Murphy said. "He said, ‘You’ll never do it.’ And I bet him $100,000. And then I did it, and he never paid me."

To Murphy's credit, he didn't bug Pryor about it. Even when they appeared together in Harlem Nights, Murphy's 1989 directorial debut, the bet didn't come up. "But he owes me," Murphy said.

Pryor died of a heart attack in 2005 at age 65, leaving behind a powerful pop culture legacy. His stand-up comedy and acting roles influenced many other performers, including Murphy. "In many respects, Richard Pryor had cleared the way for Murphy’s ascent, preparing audiences for an iconoclastic, tough-talking, profane African American comedian," wrote Donald Bogle in his 2019 book Hollywood Black: The Stars, the Films, the Filmmakers.

”When I saw Richard, I realized what I was," Murphy has said.

Watch Murphy's full interview with Kimmel above.

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