The headline above is accurate, but it sounds much worse than it is. SNL has just released its first episode of Stories From the Show, a series of interviews with present and former cast members of the show. The first episode features Eddie Murphy, who hosted the show last month, appearing on SNL for the first time since he left in the early ’80s.
In the short episode, he talks about his audition and working on SNL after all the original cast members left. “You would walk down the street and people are like, ‘You on the new Saturday Night Live? Y’all ain’t shit!’” It was so bad that first season with the new wave of cast members that head writer Michael O’Donoghue came in and fired everyone, except Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo.
Why not Eddie Murphy? Because on a “Weekend Update” segment, Eddie Murphy ate dog food, or at least so Donahue thought. “‘The only reason Murphy didn’t get fired is that he ate that dog food!’” Donahue had said.
Turns out, the dog food was actually just hash, but it was too late. Murphy kept his job, and the rest is history.
Now, on the other hand, if you actually want to see someone who did eat the dog food? This is Chris Elliot on Late Night with David Letterman, in one of my all-time favorite late-night clips.
SNL returns on January 25th with host Adam Driver.