Eddie Murphy to Host 'Saturday Night Live' on December 21, NBC Says

Eddie Murphy will return to Saturday Night Live in December during the variety show's 45th season, NBC says. The network announced on Monday that Murphy, who was a cast member from 1980 to 1984, will return to host SNL on Dec. 21st, with the night's musical guest to be announced.

Murphy has returned to SNL only once, at the 40th anniversary special in 2015 — where he was glowingly introduced by Chris Rock and said a few words on how the show changed his life. Oddly enough, he didn't tell any jokes during that appearance.

Murphy was a fan favorite on the show, responsible for memorable sketches like "Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood" (a streetwise parody of Mr. Rodgers), "Buckwheat," "Gumby" and "White Like Me."

The network also announced that Woody Harrelson will kick off Season 45 as the host and that Billie Eilish, who has sat atop the Billboard charts this summer with her hit "Bad Guy," will perform as the musical guest.

On Oct. 5, Phoebe Waller-Bridge will host alongside musical guest Taylor Swift. David Harbour will host Oct. 12 with musical guest Camilla Cabello, and Kristen Stewart will host Nov. 2.

VT reports that Murphy took offense to a comment David Spade made about him on his breakout segment, "Hollywood Minute," in 1990, in which he called Murphy a "falling star." In Spade's memoir, Almost Interesting, he wrote that he called Murphy on co-star Chris Rock's advice.

"Now here comes Eddie . . . 'David Spade, who the f— do you think you are?!! Honestly? Who. The. F—. Going after ME?? You dumb motherf—er! I’m off-limits, don’t you know that? You wouldn’t have a job if it weren’t for me. Talking shit about me??” Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera . . . on and on and on and making me feel like s—," Spade wrote.

"I barely spoke. I just stared at Rock in disbelief. It was so much worse than I had imagined. I wanted to apologize, explain the joke, anything, but nothing came out. Here was one of my favorite comedians of all time ripping me a new a—e. I had worshipped this dude for years, knew every line of his stand-up. And now he hated me. Like, really really hated me. The opposite of Sally Field."

Murphy explained to Rolling Stone why he took such offense to the joke.

"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—ed up, and you guys are s—ing on me?' And you know every joke has to go through all the producers, and ultimately, you know Lorne or whoever says, [Lorne Michaels voice] 'OK, it's OK to make this career crack...'"

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But eventually, Murphy let go of his anger toward Spade. "I don't let it linger," he said. "I don't hate David Spade. I'm cool with him."

Photo credit: Christopher Polk / Staff / Getty