Eddie Murphy Returning To ‘SNL,’ Explains Why It Took 30 Years

It’s official — Eddie Murphy is finally coming back to Saturday Night Live after more than 30 years of staying away.

The Oscar-nominated actor announced his plans to return to the long-running NBC sketch series for the upcoming anniversary special.

In an article published by Vanity Fair on Thursday, Murphy explains that it was timing that kept him away from NBC’s Studio 8H for such a long time.

“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 do that, and that’ll be the first time I’ve been back since I left.”

If that sounds a little confusing, it’s because Eddie Murphy had a different story for his decades-long absence from the Saturday Night Live stage during a 2011 interview with Rolling Stone.

At the time, Murphy stated that “they said some sh-tty things” — namely, the infamous David Spade sketch when the Joe Dirt actor turned Eddie Murphy’s career into a punchline. Showing a picture of Eddie Murphy around the time the major flop Vampire in Brooklyn was released, David Spade said, “Look, children — a falling star.”

During the Rolling Stone interview, Murphy explained why he was so offended by the remark.

“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 f–ked up, and you guys are sh-tting on me?”

Murphy also commented on how the joke had to be approved first by the producers and, ultimately, Lorne Michaels — the show’s creator.

The SNL 40th Anniversary Special is scheduled for Sunday, February 15 on NBC. As of right now, it has not been confirmed whether Eddie Murphy will just make a brief appearance on camera or actually perform in a sketch.

Perhaps Murphy will get a chance to reprise one of his classic SNL characters — such as Buckwheat, Gumby, or Mr. Robinson.

Regardless of what he does (or doesn’t do) on the show, it will still be the first time that Eddie Murphy has done anything with Saturday Night Live since he hosted the show on December 15, 1984.

[Image Credit: Daily News]