I’m so excited about Eddie Murphy’s return to Saturday Night Live this weekend, it’s almost pathetic. But I can’t be the only one. SNL is excited. And I wonder if they’re actually planning two shows – the main show, obviously, but also a show behind the scenes. Because I also can’t be the only one who wants that one too, an episode about the episode, about how they’ve prepared for Eddie’s homecoming.
If you’ve ever listened to our podcast, Show Your Work, you know that Duana and I are the people who have a series recording set on SNL. More often than not, we watch it when it’s happening and if we can’t, it’s the first thing we do on Sunday mornings. We’ve read all the books, the oral histories, we go back into the archive often, and it’s not that we think it’s always good (it is often NOT good) but there is no other workplace in entertainment like Saturday Night Live with its traditions and its systems and its internal politics.
And everyone knows, Eddie Murphy is the most electrifying performer to come out of the show’s history. As The Ringer notes in a new piece just published this morning, “Saturday Night Live Was Dying. Then Eddie Murphy Showed Up”. Even the descriptions of some of his most famous Update rants and monologues and sketches are funny so you can imagine just how well they hold up when you watch them. That’s not to say that the comedy of the 80s hasn’t aged. There are jokes that we’ve learned that are inappropriate now, that are unfair and cruel. Comedy, like all of us collectively, can and should grow and improve. But that doesn’t change the fact that Eddie Murphy was and still is a FORCE.
Have you seen Dolemite Is My Name yet? We throw around the word “superstar” probably a little too casually these days but there are few stars who have the nuclear energy of Eddie Murphy. He makes every scene pulse, he turns every line of dialogue into something special. Even when he’s not speaking you can feel the vibration. Sarah included Dolemite on in her list of Top Movies of 2019 and if you plan to watch SNL this weekend, I recommend that you also this weekend watch the film as a companion to the show. Eddie may not be nominated for an Oscar this year, though he’s been putting in some campaign time and his return to SNL is definitely part of that plan. But he’s not a frontrunner. He was not nominated for a SAG award – which is a f-cking insult since the actors, more than anyone else, should be able to appreciate Eddie’s talent and skill and his incredible CONTROL over both.
Will his return to SNL make a difference in his Oscar chances? I can’t wait for tomorrow night. SNL is hyping it up huge.
Have a great weekend!
Yours in gossip,