When Eddie Murphy hosts this year’s Christmas episode of Saturday Night Live on Dec. 21 it will be his first time hosting the show in almost exactly 35 years. SNL announced part of its fall slate of hosts and musical guests on Monday, a list that includes Woody Harrelson and Billie Eilish for the Sept. 28 premiere; and Phoebe Waller-Bridge with Taylor Swift for the following week.
Murphy, who is expected to make a long-awaited return to stand-up comedy on Netflix soon—and is starring in the new film Dolemite Is My Name for that same streaming service—last hosted the show on Dec. 15, 1984, one season after he left the show as a cast member. He also has the distinction of being the only person to host the show while he was still a cast member. When his 48 Hours co-star Nick Nolte got sick ahead of the Christmas episode in 1982, Murphy stepped in at the last minute, ending the cold open sketch that night by declaring, “Live from New York, it’s the Eddie Murphy Show!”
The comedian was originally going to play Bill Cosby on SNL’s 40th anniversary special in 2015, but opted instead to make a brief, comedy-free appearance in which he simply thanked the crowd and left the stage.