Today I have a piece in The Guardian US (first time ever!) and it’s about Eddie Murphy’s lackluster appearance at SNL 40. I surmised that Murphy is no longer interested in entertaining us … unless you have a check for him, and maybe even then, probably not.
Eddie Murphy didn’t look like he wanted to be there.
That’s ultimately what it boils down to, when you really think about what happened with the legendary comedian during his abrupt, awkward appearance on SNL 40 on Sunday. Even comedian Norm McDonald revealing that Murphybailed on a bit playing scandal-plagued Bill Cosby at the last minute didn’t change that reality.
Some blamed his past issues with the show’s creator Lorne Michaels; others have pointed to an old bit where comedian David Spade called Murphy a “falling star”. But the real reason why Murphy was so awkward is probably something a lot less sexy: Murphy is over it.
He’s over you, over pretending, over the expectations. I don’t blame him. Just as in the 1980s, it wasn’t so much that he needed Saturday Night Live – Murphy had a talent destined for stardom no matter what the first big break would be – but that Saturday Night Live needed him. The situation was the same Sunday night.