Eddie Murphy returned to Saturday Night Live during the show’s 40th anniversary special Sunday.
The Oscar-nominated actor had not stepped on the stage of Studio 8H since the mid-80s. Therefore, when it came to reviewing the list of SNL alums who would attend the celebration, most fans and critics were excited about seeing Eddie Murphy.
That is, of course, until he showed up.
Chris Rock was perhaps the perfect choice to introduce Eddie Murphy to the stage. In addition to being a successful comedian, Hollywood actor, and SNL alum himself, Chris Rock has never been shy about discussing how influential Eddie Murphy was to him.
— SNL (@snwann) February 16, 2015
To say that the Top Five director gave Murphy a proper introduction would be a major understatement. He spent more than three minutes shining the spotlight directly on Eddie Murphy — even to the extent of saying that Eddie saved SNL and that he wanted to be just like him.
Rock was even able to get in a few laughs himself throughout his introduction, and then the big moment arrived. Eddie Murphy walked out onto the SNL stage for the first time in years. Fans and critics may have wondered, “What would he say?” or “What joke would he tell?” or even “Would he reprise any of his iconic ‘SNL’ characters?”
All of those questions were answered in approximately 73 seconds.
“Hey, isn’t this an incredible night, this night? This show is such a big part of who I am and my life. And I’m so happy to be back here. It’s a magical feeling. Actually it feels like going back to my old high school, kind of. It’s a good feeling. I’m really happy that so many people here value the stuff that I did 35 years ago. It makes me feel really happy. I will always love this show and… let’s have some more show. Let’s have a big round of applause for everybody.”
When he finished his short speech, Eddie Murphy must have expected the producers to transition to another montage or segment and fade out. They might have thought that he was going to say something else — or at least say something funny, but that plan went out the window.
Keep in mind that Eddie Murphy’s “going back to my old high school” statement was the same comment that he made during his red carpet interview with Al Roker before the show.
Other SNL alums (regardless of their post-SNL success) did not hesitate to reprise their iconic SNL characters. Steve Martin’s King Tut. Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as Wayne and Garth. Dan Akroyd and Jim Belushi as the Blues Brothers. Molly Shannon as Mary Katherine Gallagher.
Perhaps one of the most successful post-SNL actors, Will Ferrell, brought back multiple roles — including Alex Trebek for “Celebrity Jeopardy.”
But, for Eddie Murphy, the short speech was it.
No jokes. No punchlines. No Buckwheat. No Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood. No Gumby.
— Geørge Mulrøøney II (@Classic_George) February 16, 2015
If you wanted to see any of Eddie Murphy’s past SNL work, you simply had to depend on the montages and clips of vintage sketches that aired throughout the broadcast.
However, disappointed fans and critics made sure to complain about Murphy’s big letdown on Twitter.
— Jimmy Failla (@jimmyfailla) February 16, 2015
— Rebecca Carroll (@rebel19) February 16, 2015
— Chris Donovan (@chrisdonovan) February 16, 2015
— RTV6 Indianapolis (@rtv6) February 16, 2015
However, there were quite a few people that felt as if Eddie Murphy’s brief appearance was the fault of Saturday Night Live crew. For instance, some commented about how Eddie Murphy was simply not given enough time.
— Jeff Roda (@JeffRoda1) February 16, 2015
— Da L.E.S (@2freshLES) February 16, 2015
— Clarence Whorley (@ClarenceWhorley) February 16, 2015
What did you think about Eddie Murphy and his return to Saturday Night Live? Would he accept an invitation to a host a future show if it is offered to him?
[Image Credit: Larry Busacca/Getty Images & NBC 33 TV]