Eddie Murphy reveals which SNL joke from the 1990s offended him

The comedy icon didn't appreciate being targeted.
World Premiere Of Amazon Prime Video's "Candy Cane Lane" - Arrivals
World Premiere Of Amazon Prime Video's "Candy Cane Lane" - Arrivals / Unique Nicole/GettyImages

Eddie Murphy is one of the most successful Saturday Night Live members of all time. He kept the show afloat during its difficult 1980s period, and subsequently went on to become a film megastar. Murphy was a seminal pop culture figure for the rest of the decade, but his career was faltering a bit by the mid 1990s.

It's during this period that his alma mater, SNL, made Murphy the butte of a joke. It was a quick jab related to the poor financial performance of A Vampire In Brooklyn (1995), but it has stuck with the comedian ever since. Murphy said as much during a recent interview with the New York Times.

Eddie Murphy felt he was being targeted by the show

The joke in question was made by David Spade during the Weekend Update segment. "Look children, it’s a falling star," the comedian remarked. "Make a wish." Murphy explained that he was taken aback by the joke, and felt that it was disrespectful given that he was part of the SNL family.

"It was like: 'Yo, it’s in-house! I’m one of the family, and you’re f**king with me like that?' It hurt my feelings like that."

Murphy pointed out that other SNL comedians who starred in flop films were exempt from criticism. He felt like he was being targeted specifically, which he perceived as racist treatment. "All the people that have been on that show, you’ve never heard nobody make no joke about anybody’s career," the actor opined. "I thought that was a cheap shot. And it was kind of, I thought — I felt it was racist."

Murphy has since returned to Saturday Night Live

Eddie Murphy
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Murphy's relationship with Saturday Night Live was non-existent in the decades that followed. The didn't appear on the show for three decades. It wasn't until SNL's 40th anniversary special in 2015 that Murphy agreed to return. He subsequently hosted for the first time in 2019.

The actor has since made peace with the joke and the man who made it, Spade. "Worked out great," he told the outlet. "I’m cool with David Spade. Cool with Lorne Michaels. I went back to SNL. I’m cool with everybody. It’s all love."

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