Eddie Murphy returned to his old stomping grounds on Saturday night for the first time in 35 years to host “Saturday Night Live” with help from a few of his comedian friends – Tracy Morgan, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock and Kenan Thompson.
The last time Murphy commanded the ‘SNL’ stage was on December 15, 1984, which was a few months after he quit the show to focus on his budding acting career, The New York Times reports. However, the comedian made sure to reprise some of his nostalgic characters including Buckwheat, Gumby and Mister Robinson.
Murphy kicked things off with an opening monologue, which included a joke about his return to the show. “This is the last episode of 2019. But if you’re black, this is the first episode since I left back in 1984,” he said.
The comedian also updated viewers on what he’s been doing since he was last seen on ‘SNL,’ and that is when he took a jab at Bill Cosby who was one of Murphy’s biggest critics in the ‘80s. “I have 10 kids now — 11 if you count Kevin Hart,” he joked. “If you had told me 30 years ago that I would be this boring stay-at-home house dad and Bill Cosby would be in jail, even I would have took that bet.” He then went into a Cosby impersonation saying, “Who is America’s Dad now?”
The Cosby dig dates back decades, as previously mentioned. Here’s a refresher, if you’re unclear on the origin of it all. During Murphy’s 1987 comedy special “Eddie Murphy Raw” he told the story of a time he received a call from Cosby, which excited him because that was one of his idols. However, the comedian said that the call was to criticize the language he used during his standup acts. During the bit, Murphy said he told Cosby, “…I don’t what you’re talking about and I’m offended that you called.” He added, “F**k you.”
Murphy was later joined on the stage by Morgan, Chappelle and Rock. The four men took a moment to honor the success of Black entertainers, but not without making it funny. “When was the last time we were together like this?” Murphy asked. “Last Thursday at Sinbad’s,” Rock replied. Chappelle chimed in and said, “Right now, you’re looking at half of Netflix’s budget.”
Morgan was next up and joked about his car accident. “Not me, I made all my millions on the road,” he said. “Touring?” asked Murphy. “No,” Morgan joked. “I got hit by a truck.”
Check out some of the reactions to Eddie Murphy’s ‘SNL’ return below.