The Key To Eddie Murphy Not Being Fired After His First ‘SNL’ Season Is So Absurd That It Must Be True

NBC will soon run a new Saturday Night Live premium short form series called Stories from the Show that will contain intimate interviews from cast members, current and from yesteryear, about their experiences on the long-running sketch-comedy show. The series will include candid stories from the likes of Will Ferrell and Aidy Bryant, but the first episode is an extra special treat because it’s all about the legendary Eddie Murphy, who began his run in 1980 (until 1984) as part of an entirely new cast.

As one can imagine, the transition wasn’t an easy one for the show or the fledgling members, given that the audience missed Bill Murray, John Belushi, Gilda Radner, and the rest. Murphy, however, explained why he was the only one who “didn’t get freaked out” by the backlash to the new cast. At age 19, he was the youngest cast member and simply happy to be on TV, and at the end of his initial season, everyone got fired except Murphy and Joe Piscopo. Well, the stated reason for why the Beverly Hills Cop star kept his job is so wild but so good:

“There was a sketch where there was an article in the paper about old people eating pet food, and I went to the news desk and did some kind of thing about it … so it looked like I was eating dog food … when [Michael] O’Donoghue fired everybody, he came in, and he said, “The only reason Murphy didn’t get fired is because he ate that dog food!”

At the time, Murphy readily admitted that he wasn’t actually eating dog food in the scene, but it was too late to fire him, apparently. Or so the story goes! I choose to believe that this is true, and between that anecdote and Murphy’s story about how he coped after his hubcaps were stolen near Rockefeller Plaza while he worked on the show, the entire episode is definitely worth watching.