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return of the king

Eddie Murphy is returning to host Saturday Night Live for the 1st time in 35 years

Eddie Murphy's long-awaited return as Saturday Night Live host is finally happening.

The NBC sketch show on Monday announced that Murphy will serve as host for an episode airing this December. This, IndieWire notes, will be Murphy's first time hosting Saturday Night Live in 35 years.

Murphy, of course, kickstarted his career as a cast member of Saturday Night Live but left in 1984, the year he also hosted. He would never return as host after this, and in a 2011 interview with Rolling Stone, Murphy described his bad blood with the show. In particular, he took issue with a joke from David Spade comparing him to a "falling star" as a jab at his recent unsuccessful films.

"I felt sh-tty about that for years, but now, I don't have none of that," Murphy told Rolling Stone. "I wouldn't go to retrospectives, but I don't let it linger."

Murphy did ultimately return for Saturday Night Live's 40th anniversary special in 2015, speaking for less than a minute after a lengthy, laudatory introduction by Chris Rock. "I'm so happy to be back here," Murphy said. "It's a magical feeling ... I will always love this show."

Woody Harrelson, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, David Harbour, and Kristen Stewart also also set to host Saturday Night Live this season, with Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, and Camila Cabello booked as musical guests. The musical guest for Murphy's show hasn't yet been revealed.

Murphy's return as Saturday Night Live host is set for Dec. 21.