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ComedyFilm / TV

home for the holidays: eddie murphy returns to ‘snl’

December 23, 2019

Since this season’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ lineup was announced with the promise of one of its brightest stars Eddie Murphy’s return, fans have been eagerly awaiting the reunion. A moment that could have been compromised by pressure, resulted in the opposite by thriving instead. This is not new for Eddie whose long history with the program has always been unorthodoxly miraculous. 

At just 19 years old, Murphy joined the ‘SNL’ cast from 1980-1984 and was credited with saving a show that was at risk of becoming just another cult classic. During Murphy’s time on the program, show creator Lorne Michaels had a five-year temporary leave and many of the show’s stars had exited the series, resulting in a tumultuous era. It was not expected to go on much longer until, well, Eddie Murphy. As explained by comedian Chris Rock at SNL’s 40th anniversary special, “Out of nowhere, Eddie saved ‘Saturday Night Live.’ If ‘Saturday Night Live’ hadn’t hired Eddie Murphy, this show wouldn’t have lasted half as long as ‘Baywatch.’” A former executive producer on the show during Eddie’s time on it, Dick Eersol, has spoken similarly on it saying, “Eddie’s the single most important performer in the history of the show.”

Eddie’s return to the show this past weekend garnered the best ratings in years and the highest this season for viewers between the ages of 18-49. More important than ratings, the audience genuinely loved the episode. We got to see an our old friend Eddie play his iconic characters, and he even offered us a powerful moment during his monologue that featured living comedy legends Dave Chapelle, Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan and Kenan Thompson. His outstanding talent coupled with his ability to create moments bigger than the individual, has ended the first half of this season and this decade on a high.