When Eddie Murphy first announced that he would return to Saturday Night Live for the first time in more than 30 years, people started speculating wildly about which classic character he would reprise for the show’s 40th anniversary special. Buckwheat? Gumby? Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood?
So when Murphy finally took the stage last night, following an inspiring and hilarious introduction from Chris Rock, it was more than a little disappointing when he spent less than 60 seconds talking about what the show meant to him without performing any comedy whatsoever.
The reactions from those watching at home were less than thrilled:
Eddie Murphy finally shows up at an SNL reunion, is needy, not funny.
— Matt Zoller Seitz (@mattzollerseitz) February 16, 2015
that eddie murphy spot was the norbit of guest spots #snl40
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) February 16, 2015
Unwilling or unable?
— Bill Weir (@BillWeirCNN) February 16, 2015
If you're disappointed in Eddie Murphy's cameo on #SNL40, remember that he made Pluto Nash & Norbit. HE DOESN'T GIVE A FUCK WHAT YOU THINK!
— Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) February 16, 2015
Things got even more awkward when the comedian appeared to have lost his way, speaking to the producers off-camera, saying, “I thought you guys were going to — right there you were going to do the — no?” He got out of it by joking, “OK, let’s do it again,” before the show eventually cut abruptly to commercial.
But while you could chalk up this moment to the magic unpredictability of live TV, NBC apparently wanted to pretend that last hiccup never happened, cutting the clip off before Murphy’s confusion in the versions posted to NBC.com and YouTube Monday morning.
As presented online by SNL, Eddie Murphy’s appearance still wasn’t funny, but it also was not nearly as painfully awkward.
Watch the edited video below, via NBC:
And then watch the unedited clip as it appeared live below, via NBC:
[Photo via screengrab]
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