Not many comedians have the luxury of getting comedy advice from a superstar when they’re still young and starting out in their career, but when it comes to Eddie Murphy, pretty much nothing about his early years doing stand-up is typical. In a new video for W magazine, Murphy had a great story to share when asked about the worst advice he’s ever received, in which a then-teenage Murphy — whose act was “really dirty” and full of “edgy racial stuff” — asked Dangerfield to watch him perform at a Florida club, only to be told by the comedian afterward, as Murphy retells it, “Hey, kid. I don’t know where you’re gonna go with that — the language and the race stuff.”
Despite being “crestfallen” over Dangerfield’s reaction, Murphy opted not to change his act, and just a couple years later he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live and found mainstream success with his stand-up. As luck would have it, Murphy later ran into Dangerfield in the Caesars Palace restroom in Vegas, where their previous advice session came full circle. “Rodney Dangerfield comes to the urinal right next to me,” Murphy says. “And I look over, and he looks at me and says, ‘Hey, who knew?!’” Sometimes the best advice is just bad advice you’ve gotta prove wrong.