I really like Eddie Murphy. Always have, since the very first time I saw him do a Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood sketch on Saturday Night Live. Even as a kid, I knew Murphy had the timing, the wit, the smarts, the silliness and the attitude to be a big-time comedian. And boy was I right. From his debut in Walter Hill's 48 Hrs. ($78.8 million in domestic box office) to his monumentally brilliant Delirious concert and his ... really wretched album ("My girl wants to party all the time / party all the time / party all the tiiiiiime!"), I was a fan through thick and thin.

Along with all the other Murphy supporters I walked a long and winding road through films great and wretched, from the hilarious Trading Places ($90.4m) to the unwatchable Best Defense ($19.2m) to the big one: Beverly Hills Cop ($234.7m!). And just like that, superstar comedy icon Eddie Murphy was truly born. The guy's movie career reads like a road map: He finished the '80s with The Golden Child ($79.8m), Beverly Hills Cop 2 ($153.6m), the concert flick Raw ($50.5m), Coming to America ($128.1m) and Harlem Nights ($60.8m), and ran through the '90s without taking a breath: Another 48 Hrs. ($80.8m), Boomerang ($70m), The Distinguished Gentleman ($46.6m), Beverly Hills Cop 3 ($42.6m), Vampire in Brooklyn ($19.7m), The Nutty Professor ($128.8m), Metro ($32m), Mulan ($120.6m), Dr. Dolittle ($144.1m) Holy Man ($12m), Life ($63.8m) and Bowfinger ($66.3m).

Interesting list so far. We see that the 48 Hrs. sequel outgrossed the Beverly Hills Cop sequel by a healthy margin, which seems a little weird when you think about it. We also see that Eddie doing family comedy and/or animated fare seems to work pretty well, whereas his attempts to play towards the parents turned out to be a much more inconsistent approach. But I give the guy credit for trying to pull off strange things in between the sure bets. I mean, Holy Man has a few good laughs in it! Bowfinger is really underrated!

But then we hit 2000 ...