Eddie Murphy Proves He’s Definitely Hosting ‘SNL’ With A Dramatic Promo

When it was announced Eddie Murphy was hosting SNL, the show that first made his name, there was every reason to believe he’d find a reason to cancel. Since leaving the show in 1984, he’s barely looked back. He’s never come back to host, as so many alumni have; most infamously, he announced he’d participate in the 40th anniversary special in 2015 only to merely walk on stage, wave at the crowd, and leave, with nary a word. Anyway, looks like we naysayers are wrong: Not only hasn’t he pulled out of his scheduled appearance on this weekend’s show (with musical guest Lizzo), but here’s even an incredibly dramatic ad to prove it.

Murphy doesn’t say a word in the commercial either, nor are there any jokes (unless the absence of jokes is a joke). It’s even in black-and-white, with widescreen images of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, an elevator traveling to the show’s iconic stage, and finally a figure strolling out to face an empty studio that will soon be filled with audience members who probably can’t believe they’re seeing one of the most esteemed comics and comic actors of his generation do live sketch comedy again. When we finally see Eddie himself, he simply smiles.

Murphy was a regular SNL cast member for four seasons, starting in 1980. He began after the remainder of the original cast had left, at the beginning of a fallow period that lasted until the mid-’80s. He’s often credited with being the main person who kept the show afloat, regularly giving the spottier-than-ever program much-needed shots in the arms with classic characters as the Fred Rogers parody Mr. Robinson, the adult incarnation of Our Gang scene-stealer Buckwheat, sleazy huckster Velvet Jones, a surly Gumby, and hot tub enthusiast James Brown.

No doubt Murphy will be dusting off a couple of those, or maybe he’ll wow us with new characters he’s worked on since mostly disappearing from screens, only to roar back with his award-winning turn in the Rudy Ray Moore biopic Dolemite is My Name. Anyway, see y’all Saturday night!