Saturday, January 20, 2007

Arsenio to Eddie Murphy: Host SNL

(image via rotten)

Why hasn't Eddie Murphy hosted SNL recently. He is an alum in good standing; he has a film out presently and is in contention for a Best Supporting Oscar nod; he could certainly use the buzz of an Adam Samburgian "Dick in a Box" out of the park home-run (That's what made Timberlake cool again). Entertainment Weekly writes:

"Murphy plays R&B singer James 'Thunder' Early, a dynamic, innovative soul belter who, despite his powerful voice and charismatic presence, has never managed to achieve the fame and respect he feels he deserves. As he watches other artists ride his style to glory, bitterness consumes him. From Early's electrifying stage show to his offstage womanizing to his eventual drug-fueled breakdown, Murphy delivers a performance by turns fiery and wounded, triumphant and tragic — essentially, taking the spot-on James Brown impression he did years ago on Saturday Night Live and wringing out the laughs to reveal the underlying pain.

"The idea of Murphy turning in such an award-worthy dramatic performance initially invited skepticism. ''I didn't know the late-night comics were doing jokes,'' Murphy told reporters backstage after his Golden Globes win, when asked about late-night hosts poking fun at his surprising Oscar buzz. ''Have I become that uncool?''"

He had; trust us, he had. To illustrate the point -- from Entertainment Weekly:

"By 1995, following duds like The Distinguished Gentleman and Vampire in Brooklyn, Murphy's popularity had sunk so low, he was mocked on his old show, Saturday Night Live. During 'Spade in America,' a photo of Murphy appeared on the screen as David Spade said snarkily, 'Look, children, it's a falling star! Make a wish!'

The pendulum swings. So -- Why hasn't Eddie walked back into the warm embrace of Lorne Michaels? It's not, according to EW, for lack of his friends' advice:

"But what does Murphy himself want? If he finally receives the validation he feels he was owed long ago, what then? Murphy's next film, Norbit, which opens next month, sticks to his successful formula of playing multiple roles — a nerdy, henpecked husband, his overbearing, obese wife, and a Chinese man — in a broad comedy. After that, he is signed on to star in a fish-out-of-water comedy called Starship Dave, and plans were recently announced for a fourth Beverly Hills Cop installment, neither of which suggests a bold new direction. Murphy has flirted with the idea of returning to the stage to do stand-up again, something friends and fellow comics have been urging him to do for years. But at this point, the prospect apparently seems too daunting. 'We've gone to clubs and sat there, night after night,' says (Arsenio) Hall. 'One day, I said, 'Here's a brilliant idea: You host Saturday Night Live, do five minutes of stand-up, do the sketches, and that's how you get to feel it again. If you returned to SNL just once — oh, motherf---er!' He was like, 'I'll think about it.' That means, 'Don't ask me no more.'''

We agree with Arsenio, Eddie: Host SNL and insist on a digital short with Samburg and get into as many sketches with Amy Poehler as possible. he full interview in Entertainment Weekly

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