Eddie Murphy Teases Return of Classic Characters in 'SNL' Hosting Appearance

Eddie Murphy's comeback tour to promote his Netflix movie Dolemite Is My Name will include a stop on Saturday Night Live on Dec. 21, his first time hosting the show in 35 years. While on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Friday, Murphy said he might bring back some of the iconic characters he played during his time on the sketch show in the early 1980s. Murphy also told Colbert that it was President Barack Obama who suggested he should go back to standup.

Murphy teased he "would imagine" reprising his famous characters, like his impersonations of Gumby or The Little Rascals character Buckwheat.

"I'm looking forward to going back and doing that stuff. I hope it's funny," Murphy said. "SNL is such a big part of who I am, and you don't want to go back after thirty-five years and the show is like, 'ah, it was alright.'"

Murphy also told Colbert it was Obama who suggested he go back to performing on the stage again. He met the president when he received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2015.

"Obama, yeah, when I got this Mark Twain Prize [and] I saw him in the White House, the first thing he asked me was, 'When are you going to do standup again?'" Murphy said as he impersonated Obama. "And I said, 'Maybe it's time to do standup again.'"

Obama had another surprising question for Murphy. During their conversation, the topic of hair came up because Murphy does not have any gray hair.

"[Obama] said, 'what kind of rinse are you using?'" Murphy recalled. "I don't have a rinse. I get grey hairs in my mustache and my nose of all places, but my hair is still black."

Murphy has not officially announced a stand-up tour, but there have been rumors he signed a deal with Netflix worth $70 million to produce multiple stand-up specials. During an appearance on the streaming service's Present Company with Krista Smith podcast, Murphy said he will "go on the road and do some stand-up" in 2020.

"I'm going to do it again. Everything just has to be right. You have to get up there and start working it out," Murphy said.

However, Murphy is still focusing on his movie career, clearly hoping his acclaimed performance in Dolemite Is My Name builds up some steeam. He is now working on a sequel to Coming To America and has confirmed a Beverly Hills Cop 4 is in the works.


Dolemite Is My Name, in which Murphy plays real-life Blaxploitation star Rudy Ray Moore, is now available to stream on Netflix.

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