Eddie Murphy Delivers Big Ratings in ‘SNL’ Return

Eddie Murphy on SNL (Credit: NBC)

Eddie Murphy returned to Saturday Night Live this weekend and brought a big ratings boost to the NBC sketch comedy series.

The SNL alum served as host for the first time in 35 years, and helped propel the show to its highest ratings in over two years.

The Dec. 21 episode, with Lizzo as musical guest, averaged a 2.5 rating in the key adults 18-49 demo and 9.9 million overall viewers, according to Deadline.

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Those are the best numbers SNL has posted since May 2017, when Melissa McCarthy hosted and HAIM served as musical guest. That episode averaged a 2.7 rating in adults 18-49 and 10.3 million viewers.

This weekend’s installment of SNL tied the September season premiere of Fox’s The Masked Singer as the highest rated entertainment series broadcast this season in the 18-49 demo.

Murphy’s hosting gig burned up social media, making him and SNL top trending topics Saturday night.

The Dolemite Is My Name star kicked things off with an opening monologue that included jokes about his family, and fellow comedians Kevin Hart and Bill Cosby.

“If you had told me 30 years ago, that I would be this boring, stay-at-home house dad and Bill Cosby would be in jail, even I wouldn’t have took that bet,” Murphy said to laughter.

Later in the show, Murphy brought back some of his classic characters, including Mister Robinson, Buckwheat, Gumby and Velvet Jones.

Related Story: ‘SNL’ – Eddie Murphy’s Mr. Robinson Vents About Neighborhood Gentrification

Gumby, the grouchy green clay character, crashed the “Weekend Update” segment and unloaded on co-anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che for not including him earlier in the show.

“I’m the one that made that Eddie Murphy a star. He was just a regular coon boy until I saw him,” Gumby shouted.

“We just thought people wouldn’t know who you are,” Che explained.

“I saved this damn show from the gutter!” Gumby responded. “And this is the thanks I get? For saving the show? Shame on you, Lorne Michaels! Shame on you, NBC! Shame on you!”

Jost then asked Gumby to calm down.

“Don’t tell me to calm down, trailer boy!” Gumby fired back.

The bit was so hilarious that Murphy briefly broke character and started laughing.

Watch the video below.