NBC/Will Heath(NEW YORK) — Eddie Murphy’s long-awaited — and hilarious — return to Saturday Night Live scored the long-running sketch show’s highest ratings since May 2017.
Murphy’s trip back to Studio 8H — nearly 35 years to the day after his final appearance on the show — attracted more than 9.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen numbers collected by The Hollywood Reporter.
The episode, which featured white-hot singer Lizzo as the musical guest, saw Murphy joined during his monologue by fellow African-American comedy idols and former SNL stars Chris Rock and Tracy Morgan, as well as Dave Chappelle.
“Right now you’re looking at half of Netflix’s budget,” joked Murphy, referring to the big bucks shelled out by the streaming service not just for his forthcoming return to stand-up, but specials fronted by Rock and Chappelle.
“Not me! Not me,” Tracy said. “I made all my millions on the road.”
You mean touring?” Eddie asked.
“No, I got hit by a truck,” Morgan replied, referring to the settlement he received from the fatal truck accident that nearly killed him.
The episode also featured Murphy revisiting many of his classic SNL characters, including Mister Robinson, Gumby and Velvet Jones.
Murphy currently can be seen on Netflix in the acclaimed comedy Dolemite Is My Name.
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