In just over two weeks, comedian and Dolemite Is My Name star Eddie Murphy will return to Studio 8H for the first time since Saturday Night Live‘s 40th anniversary special nearly five years ago. Back then, it was the first time he’d been back in decades, as the comedy superstar left Lorne Michaels’s empire in 1984 and, presumably following a ’90s-era David Spade joke, vowed never to return. Well, not only is he about to come back, but Murphy also went on The Ellen Show to explain why he was coming back — and whether any of his classic characters would make an appearance.
After admitting he was excited to return, Murphy said he has “wanted to go back after the 40th anniversary [special] a few years back”:
“I went there and I saw everybody. I saw the other actors and actresses and the people and the crew. I got this big burst of nostalgia and I started feeling like, ‘Oh, I want to go back.’ So, I’ve been wanting to go back there since then, but we only wanted to go at the right time. And Dolemite made it the perfect time, because you’ve got the funny movie [to promote].”
Aside from why he decided to go back in the first place, though, DeGeneres also asked Murphy about whether any of his classic SNL characters will be reappearing. So, will Buckwheat or Gumby or Mr. Robinson be stopping by Studio 8H in the next few weeks? Maybe, as Murphy didn’t exactly say “yes,” but he also didn’t say “no.” All he really fessed up to was the fact he and SNL “don’t know what we’re going to do” when the week of his episode finally arrives.
“Usually, when people from that show go back, they do characters that were popular on the show,” he explained. “I imagine I would do Buckwheat and Gumby and Mr. Robinson and Velvet Jones. Young people are going, ‘Who are these characters?'”