Eddie Murphy is returning to host Saturday Night Live this week, which, for people of a certain age and with a storehouse of Saturday Night Live lore in tow, is a significantly huge deal. Appearing on The Tonight Show last night, Murphy continued his weeks-long talk show blitz in preparation for the big night by sitting for fellow SNL alum Jimmy Fallon’s list of Eddie Murphy trivia questions. (Just as an aside, putting Murphy and Fallon in the same sentence under the label “SNL alums” is another stark reminder of just how big Eddie Murphy was. Tonight Show gig or not, Fallon looks like Gary Kroeger in comparison. No offense to Kroeger. Or Fallon for that matter.)
Still, Eddie was game, merely tossing out a “No cheap shots” caveat before assenting to put to rest several of Fallon’s Eddie Murphy rumors that have accumulated over the years. (Again, if you weren’t around when Eddie was EDDIE, then save your Norbit jokes.) First up, yes, Eddie did turn down one of the lead roles in the original Ghostbusters, although he had a really good excuse. Less excusable to Murphy at least was his choice to turn down a certain role eventually played by the late Bob Hoskins, since, as Murphy told Fallon, the then-unique mix of animation and live-action “sounded like bullshit” to him at the time. He and Tonight Show and The Roots bandleader Questlove did, in fact, go roller skating with Prince at three in the morning that one time, while Murphy’s personal cook also had a run-in with Prince, involving a personalized hubcap. Eddie’s vaunted Elvis collection has dwindled along with Murphy’s realization that his youthful obsession with Presley ignored the more depressing aspects of his idol’s life. Oh, and he did confirm that Marlon Brando was a huge 48 Hours fan, and that, if Brando invited you to dine with him, he’d do an intense, verbatim reading of your most famous line from the film, n-word and all.