In the film, the 58-year-old actor plays Rudy Ray Moore, a down-on-his-luck entertainer in 1970s L.A. who has a plan to become a household name. He decides to invent Dolemite, a well-dressed, larger-than-life character who he hopes will take him to the top. First, he starts releasing comedy albums using the character but they are deemed too racy to even promote.
Next, Moore and his pals set out on a mission to make movies that center on his new persona. This includes convincing doubters, calling in favors and learning some new skills.
"In storytelling, it's always best to write what you know," Jerry Jones (played by Keegan-Michael Key) explains to Moore at one point.
"Ain't nothing to talk about with my personal life," Moore responds. "I deal with the nightlife, club owners and mobsters, lots of pimps and kung fu."
"Do you know karate?" Jones asks.
"No, but I'm a fast learner," Moore answers before showcasing his karate-chopping skills.
The star-studded cast also includes Wesley Snipes, Mike Epps, T.I., Snoop Dogg and Tituss Burgess, who got in a minor war of words with Andy Cohen in July over the project.
While discussing the movie on What What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, the host told Burgess that Murphy was "very problematic for the gays at one point."
In Cohen's 2012 memoir, Most Talkative: Stories From the Front Line of Pop Culture, Cohen wrote about being traumatized while watching Murphy "ridiculing gay people" during a stand-up show in 1985. Burgess was diplomatic on the air, but the next day he blasted Cohen in the comments section of a video he'd previously posted.
"She can be a messy queen! Yes I said it! Don't care he knows either!" Burgess wrote, presumably about Cohen. "He should remember his talk show isn't an episode of the real housewives of Atlanta! It's a place where artists come to talk about art and have a little fun. NOT a place to rehash old rumors or bring a star negative press."
"Sunday was a display of ratchet behavior by a well connected man having blatant disregard for one of his guests," Burgess added. "If only time were taken to know who I am and not assuming that I am the character I play on tv he would know how to conduct a proper interview with at all! I received 4 Emmy nominations for acting! NOT for being my self."
Dolemite Is My Name is slated to hit theaters and Netflix in the fall.