Eddie Murphy’s Saturday Night Live episode sets another record

Lizzo, Eddie Murphy, and Kenan Thompson (Photo by: Rosalind O'Connor/NBC)
Lizzo, Eddie Murphy, and Kenan Thompson (Photo by: Rosalind O'Connor/NBC) /

More than a week after it aired, the Eddie Murphy hosted episode continues to set records for Saturday Night Live.

If there was any concern that he couldn’t live up to the hype, Eddie Murphy proved he was up to the task when he hosted Saturday Night Live. Now more than a week after the show aired, we have more proof that Murphy’s episode was a landmark event.

You can count Last Night On among those who thought expectations for Murphy were set too high. After all, it had been 35 years since he was on Saturday Night Live and season 45 was in desperate need of an energy boost.

But Murphy quickly reminded everyone why he is among Saturday Night Live‘s all-time greats. His Dec. 21 episode was the highest rated of the season and set a two-year high mark for live viewings.

Now thanks to a new report, we found out that the episode is the most popular in nearly two decades. According to TVLine, Eddie Murphy’s episode is Saturday Night Live‘s most watched since 2008 when taking DVR viewership into account.

The total viewership ramps up to 16.3 million when combining live and DVR views. That doesn’t account for the millions of views sketches have earned on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram or for those who have watched on Hulu.

As TVLine points out, the competition for Murphy’s episode is one from Oct. 2008 hosted by Josh Brolin. You may wonder why a Brolin-hosted show got so much attention but it was more due to the special guest that came to “Weeknd Update.”

Less than a month out from the Nov. 2008 election, Sarah Palin appeared alongside Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler. This was during a season in which Palin was routinely being mocked by Saturday Night Live and portrayed by Tina Fey. Palin’s polarizing public image along with the major impact SNL was having on election coverage led to the episode getting over 16 million views and setting a 14-year high at the time.

The success of Murphy’s episode is a testament to the performer’s talent and the dedication of his fans. Reviving characters that had been dormant for over 30 years proved to be a risk worth taking as Mister Robinson, Gumby, and others were welcomed back with open arms by SNL fans.

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What do you think of Eddie Murphy’s episode? Does is still hold up after airing? How many times have you rewatched the sketches? Let us know in the comment section and keep checking in with Last Night On for more news, updates, and highlights.