Tonight, an all-new episode of SNL will kick off on NBC at 11:30pm ET. For the first time in 35 years, Eddie Murphy will host with Lizzo as musical guest.
On Thursday, NBC released a promotional video for tonight’s episode that shows Murphy walking down the hallways of Studio 8H with Lizzo’s “Cuz I Love You” playing in the background.
He Is a Former SNL Cast Member
Murphy, who hails from Brooklyn, New York, is a former SNL cast member. He joined the cast when he was just 19-years-old and is largely credited with helping the struggling series garner attention in the 1980s. Newsweek describes that time in SNL’s history as “tumultuous”, and notes that at the time, Lorne Michaels had left and taken a majority of the SNL cast with him. Ratings were not great.
It was the character of Raheem Abdul Mohammed that sprung Murphy into widespread SNL fame. After his appearance on the show, ratings started spiking. Murphy ended up sticking with the show for four seasons before foraying into film and standup.
Tonight, all ten of his children will be watching him host SNL. Murphy tells Al Roker, “My kids have all flown in for this,” Murphy said. “They’re all flying out for this.” During the interview, Murphy also hinted that some of his famous SNL characters will likely be reprised in tonight’s episode, from Gumby to Mr. Robinson. Fans are also pushing for a reprisal of the grown-up version of his Little Rascals character Buckwheat. The comedian told Roker of the episode, “I’m down for whatever, as long as it’s really, really funny.”
He Recently Returned to the Screen in ‘Dolemite Is My Name’
Rumors have surfaced that Murphy may be in the awards mix this season for his work in Dolemite Is My Name.
The film, available on Netflix, marks the fifth movie collaboration between Murphy and producer John Davis. Other projects the two have worked on together include Doctor Dolittle and Daddy Day Care.
In a recent interview with Deadline, Murphy was asked, given that many of his upcoming projects are available on Netflix, how the adjustment has been in reaching his audience through a streaming site. He responded, “When it’s Netflix, there’s really no adjustment to be made. As John said, we just did Dolemite and 40 million people saw it in the first two weeks. They have over 150 million subscribers, so when your movie plays there, whatever your audience is, they’re going to see it. You don’t think well, it’s on Netflix, nobody is going to see me. No, it’s a potentially bigger platform when you’re with them.”
Davis added, “Eddie has a unique vision of how to do it. It’s the exception to the rule of where you can get one star and can’t afford everyone else. Because it’s Eddie, there will be many stars in this. Eddie has a passion to tell stories and as a producer, you couldn’t ask for anything more than you get working with Eddie.”
Be sure to tune into tonight’s episode of SNL, airing on NBC at 11:30pm ET.