After three-and-a-half decades, Eddie Murphy returned to Studio 8H to host “Saturday Night Live” on Dec. 21, and he brought along some famous friends and former cast members: Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan and Dave Chappelle.
The audience chanted Eddie’s name as he stood on stage for his monologue, which he kicked off by reminding the audience that this was the last episode of 2019 but noting that, “If you’re black, this is the first episode since I left the show in 1984.”
His first season “SNL” headshot flashed on the screen, to which Murphy said, “You know what they say: Money don’t crack.”
Morgan was the first of Murphy’s friends to join him on stage, asking him if he got the script he sent that mixed “Good Times” and “Dolemite is My Name” and told him he had his back if he needed him. “If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be here,” Morgan said. “Literally. I was conceived on the ‘Delirious’ tour bus.”
Then Rock joined Morgan and Murphy. “I wouldn’t miss this for the world,” he said. “My kids love Lizzo!”
(Lizzo was the musical guest for the episode.)
Rock also wanted to check in on a pitch he sent Murphy and shared that when he was first hired, executive producer Lorne Michaels told him he would be the next Murphy. “Then a year later he said, ‘No, you’re not.”
And finally, Chappelle turned the trio into a quartet.
“What a moment we’re having!” Murphy said.
Chappelle’s sketch idea was “the one where T.I. has a drive-thru gynecology clinic.” He also told Murphy that he “followed your blueprint for my entire career. … I became the biggest star on television, and then I quit.”
Murphy said moments like this were why he wanted to come back to “SNL,” while Chappelle pointed out that between the four men, “You’re looking at half of Netflix’s budget.”
“Not me. I made all my millions on the road,” Morgan said. When he was asked if that meant touring, he reminded everyone he got hit by a truck.
Murphy also spoke of his family, noting he now has 10 kids — “11 if you count Kevin Hart” — and that his kids are his whole life now. “If you would have 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 wouldn’t have took that bet. Who is America’s dad now?”
“Saturday Night Live” airs live coast-to-coast Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET / 8:30 p.m. PT on NBC.