Eddie Murphy is scheduled to appear on “Saturday Night Live” on Feb. 15—nearly 31 years after his departure from the sketch comedy show in the 80s. Interestingly, Murphy has not been a guest on the show that jump-started his career since his last appearance in 1984.
“It just never worked out where the timing was right for me to do it,” Murphy explained about why he waited to return to SNL. “They’re actually having a 40th anniversary, I think, in two weeks. I’m going to that, and that’ll be the first time I’ve been back since I left.”
Murphy was a regular cast member on SNL when his career first began to take off in 1981. In 1982, he landed a role in the buddy cop film 48 Hrs., which proved to be a big hit. That same year on Dec. 11, Murphy was the first SNL regular to host the show on their Christmas special when Nick Nolte became too ill to host.
In 1983, Murphy starred in Trading Places with his SNL co-star, Dan Akroyd. In 1984, he experienced another box-office hit when he starred in Beverly Hills Cop. This was the beginning of the end for Murphy’s time at SNL. He resigned as a regular of SNL around February of 1984.
Murphy’s final visit to the show was to host an episode on Dec. 15, 1984. He was the second-youngest comedian in the history of SNL. His popular roles on the show were Buckwheat, Gumby, and a spoof of Mr. Rogers called, Mr. Robinson.
Along with comedy, Murphy is also known for his career in the music industry. The comedic actor had a Top Ten hit in 1985 called “Party All the Time.” Afterward, he put aside releasing music publicly and began starring in a movie here and there for the past few decades.
His reasoning: “I never ever stopped making music, I stopped putting music out in the ’80s. In the ’80s for some reason, more than in any decade, there was a bunch of actors that was trying to sing and put records out and it looked crazy.”
Murphy has privately recorded music for the past few decades. “I never ever left it alone, I just stopped letting y’all hear it.”
But now, he’s beginning to let the world in on his musical talents once again. The funnyman released a new reggae single on Tuesday called “Oh Jah Jah.”
Prior to SNL, Murphy was in a band. “I’ve always done music. I’ve played guitar, piano and I write and produce and I was coming at music that way because I didn’t want to get thrown in a barrel with everybody else.”