Eddie Murphy To Return To SNL For First Time In Over 30 Years
Comic legend and budding reggae star Eddie Murphy has announced plans to return to NBC's Studio 8H for the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special. In a piece published today by Vanity Fair, Murphy cites timing as the primary reason for his extended absence from SNL.
It’s just timing. It just never worked out where the timing was right for me to do it … They’re actually having a 40th anniversary I think in two weeks. I’m going to that, and that'll be the first time I’ve been back since I left.
The article notes, however, that there was once a more contentious set of issues behind his decision to stay away:
...in a 2011 interview with Rolling Stone, Murphy expressed a different reason for his long absence:
They said some shitty things. There was that David Spade sketch [when Spade showed a picture of Murphy around the time of Vampire in Brooklyn and said, “Look, children, a falling star”]. I made a stink about it, it became part of the folklore. What really irritated me about it at the time was that it was a career shot. It was like, “Hey, come on, man, it’s one thing for you guys to do a joke about some movie of mine, but my career? I’m one of you guys. How many people have come off this show whose careers really are fucked up, and you guys are shitting on me?” And you know every joke has to go through all the producers, and ultimately, you know Lorne or whoever says, [Lorne Michaels voice] “OK, it’s OK to make this career crack…”
Though there has been no word on whether Murphy will perform during his visit to the set of Saturday Night Live, his presence alone should be a boon to comedy buffs who have spent the past three decades pining for his return. Check the footage below for a taste of one of his classic SNL sketches. If that's not enough for you, feel free to check out Murphy's new tunes over at LargeUp.