Eddie Murphy is headed back to Saturday Night Live for the first time in more than 30 years! The comedian last hosted the late-night show in 1984 after four years as a regular cast member, but the 53-year-old Beverly Hills Cop star will make his airwaves return on Feb. 15 as part of SNL's three-hour 40th anniversary special.
In an interview with Roland Martin for News One, the funnyman opened up about why he waited so long to return to the show. "Itjust never worked out where the timing was right for me to do it," he said."[This] will be the first time I've been back since I left."
The three-decade-long absence sparked reports that there was a rift between Eddie and SNL's Canadian creator, Lorne Michaels. Back in 2011, Eddie told Rolling Stone his tenure at 30 Rockefeller was a tenuous one. "I felt [crappy] about that for years, but now, I don't have none of that," he said. "I wouldn't go to retrospectives, but I don't let it linger."
The news is no doubt exciting for fans of the characters Eddie crafted on SNL. Who can forget Buckwheat or Gumby or Mr. Robinson, and his on-point impressions of everyone from Bill Cosby to Stevie Wonder? In recent years, the father of eight has slowed down his acting schedule to focus on his love of music (specifically reggae) and family. He even worked with Snoop Lion on the 2013 track "Red Light".
There's no word yet on who will grace the SNL stage alongside the star, though NBC has confirmed several of the sketch series' stars will be present.
In a statement, the company's chairman Robert Greenblatt said, " Saturday Night Live is an institution unlike anything else in television history... The roster includes everyone from the iconic first cast in 1975 to household names ranging from Eddie Murphy, Billy Crystal, Dana Carvey, Mike Myers, Will Ferrell, and Adam Sandler, to Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon, and Seth Meyers -- to name only a few."
Here's hoping each and every one of them makes an appearance at the special edition of the show!