Eddie Murphy recalled the one sketch he did that saved his job on “Saturday Night Live” when everyone else on the show was being fired, except himself and Joe Piscopo.
“Like I said the whole cast was getting a lot of shit and they hated the show and then they fired everybody,” the 58-year-old actor/comedian shared in a clip posted Wednesday on YouTube by “SNL” new web series titled “Stories From the Show. “[Head writer] Michael O’Donoghue came and fired everybody, and just kept me and Piscopo.” (RELATED: ‘SNL’ Alum Rob Schneider: ‘Saturday Night Live’ Is Now Ruining The Joke)
“And the reason he kept me because 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,” he added. “So it looked like I was eating dog food. O’Donoghue fired everybody and he came in and he said, ‘The only reason [Eddie] Murphy didn’t get fired is because he ate that dog food!’” (RELATED: REPORT: Eddie Murphy In Talks Over $70 Million Standup Deal With Netflix)
Murphy continued, “And I was like, ‘But that wasn’t dog food, that was hash!’ And he looked at me like, What the fuck? But it was too late, and I kept the show. It was just that close. If he had known that was hash, none of this would be happening.”
On Tuesday, the “Coming To America” star talked about his career in a cover story with Vanity Fair revealing the one and only time he ever had to audition for a job and that was for “SNL.’
“I had been doing stand-up,” the “Dolemite” star explained. “I started doing stand-up when I was 15, so I got like three years before I get that audition. The first audition is literally a guy sitting in a room by himself, and he just says, ‘Make me laugh.’”
“Well, that would be daunting to most people, but because I had been doing stand-up I had 15 to 20 minutes of an act,” he added. “I was used to going up late at night at the Comic Strip. When you’re a young comic you don’t get good spots, so you’re going up in front of five or six people anyway.”
Murphy continued, while explaining that he did several impressions.
“I did Jimmy Carter, back then I was doing him,” the legendary comedian shared. “I did Muhammad Ali, and Howie Cosell, and Bill Cosby. So all that stuff was in my little five-minute audition. He didn’t laugh at anything. I was just doing it, he was just sitting there watching me, and looking me up and down. After I did all my shit, he was like, ‘Thank you.’”
Clearly, everything worked out and he landed the gig. And the rest, as they say, is history.