Eddie Murphy is set to make a return to Saturday Night Live after more than 30 years.
Murphy has signed on to appear in the forthcoming 40th anniversary special for SNL, the series that initially helped make him a star.
In a new interview with U.S. newsman Roland Martin, Murphy, who last appeared on the show in 1984, chalks the 31-year-absence to bad scheduling, saying, “It just never worked out where the timing was right for me to do it. 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.”
While many SNL alums such as Will Ferrell, Chris Rock, Tina Fey have gone on to successful careers in TV and film, and eventually returned to the show to host, Murphy has famously had a tense relationship with the program, including with former castmate David Spade, who referred to the Beverly Hills Cop actor as a “falling star” on the show.
In a 2011 interview with Rolling Stone, Murphy explained, “They were s**tty to me on Saturday Night Live a couple of times after I’d left the show. They said some s**tty things. There was that David Spade sketch. I made a stink about it, it became part of the folklore. What really irritated me about it at the time was that it was a career shot.
“It was like, ‘Hey, come on, man, it’s one thing for you guys to do a joke about some movie of mine, but my career? I’m one of you guys. How many people have come off this show whose careers really are f**ked up, and you guys are s**tting on me?’ And you know every joke has to go through all the producers, and ultimately, you know (executive producer) Lorne (Michaels) or whoever says, ‘OK, it’s OK to make this career crack…”
The SNL 40th Anniversary special will air on February 15.