Charlie Murphy is used to answering certain questions, but he's especially used to queries that aren't even related to his accomplishments or career.
He gets asked about his admittedly more famous younger brother, actor and comic legend Eddie Murphy.
He gets asked about his relationship to and the general whereabouts of reclusive comedian Dave Chappelle. Charlie Murphy's involvement as a cast member on Chappelle's Show helped him step out of his brother's shadow.
He gets asked about the late Rick James thanks to his hilariously detailed account of the hard-partying musician's antics in the classic Chappelle's Show sketch "Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories."
But now, as a headlining stand-up comedian, Murphy has a question he'd like to ask us: Is it all really happening?
That is the basis of his Acid Trip Tour, where Murphy, an admitted news junkie, can't help but question what's going on in the world at large.
"'Acid Trip' is a metaphor for how crazy the environment is," the comedian, 53, said. "'Acid Trip' is my perspective. I'm just going to be me, and guess what? That's trouble for you."
Murphy will be the first to tell you there's been very little trouble in his trip to the limelight. His earlier work as a screenwriter and playing bit parts in his brother's feature films and other movies got him his first taste of fame, but his time on Chappelle's Show took him to another level.
However, it took a little teasing from comedian and former Chappelle's Show cast member Donnell Rawlings to coax Murphy to try his hand at stand-up comedy eight years ago.
"One day I said, you really think I'm afraid? I'll prove to you that I'm not," Murphy recalled.
The first time Murphy jumped onstage to do a five-minute set, he did 15. He said much of what the audience saw in those early performances was done purely on instinct and not written material. He later went to numerous open-mike nights in Los Angeles, performing 15-minute sets in five clubs a night for 60 days straight.
By the time he had done stand-up for eight months, he had a full hour of material. There was a certain motivation behind his need to progress.
"I didn't have time to play around and I didn't have time to develop in the dark like other comedians," Murphy said. "It went like this: I'm selling the room out. I've got to learn how to do this real quick."
Murphy's popularity helped him land everything from supporting roles in feature films to voiceover work in the Adult Swim animated series Boondocks and the popular video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, but, he said, almost of all of his energy is dedicated to his new love of stand-up comedy. He has filmed one stand-up comedy special, 2010's I Will Not Apologize, and on the tour leading up to filming his second, Charlie Murphy's Acid Trip, Murphy has literally induced laughter across the globe. He takes particular pride in having a fan base that spans age groups, races and various cultures, which he's established by touring in less common comic tour stops as Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Scandinavia.
"It's uncharted water. A lot of people have been to London, but not a lot have been to Iceland. Charlie Murphy went there, and now I have opened the door for other people to come through," he said. "That's what makes me think my show is good. It's battle-tested."
Murphy's stand-up is rooted in honesty. Don't expect to get a one-act play reliving his party days with James. He'd rather give politicians, celebrities and society in general a good dressing down. He'll also chronicle his own struggles as a single parent and his rough childhood.
"I talk about other people, making fun of them, but I can't talk about them without making fun of my own life," Murphy said. "As you're laughing, you're laughing at some real sh--."
Murphy said his act might push audiences to laugh at subjects that otherwise might be painful or inappropriate — which is exactly the point.
"I've been liberated because I've created my own thing, which is this," Murphy said. "People hear my show and say, you made me feel a lot of different things ... and they had me laughing while I was feeling it. That's a whole different experience."