Saturday Night Live released the first episode of its new web series today titled Stories From the Show, which features interviews with former and present cast members reflecting on their time on the NBC series, and they’re starting big with Eddie Murphy. Prior to hosting SNL last month, Murphy was a cast member and breakout star on the show in the early ’80s, but as he explains in this clip, it wasn’t exactly easy to be on the SNL cast right after Lorne Michaels and all of the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players peaced out: “You would walk down the street and people are like, ‘You on the new Saturday Night Live? Y’all ain’t shit!’”
Murphy recaps how head writer Michael O’Donoghue eventually “came in and fired everybody” from the show except him and Joe Piscopo, only because O’Donoghue was a fan of a “Weekend Update” bit Murphy did where he ate dog food — well, it looked like he ate dog food. “When O’Donoghue fired everybody, he came in and he said, ‘The only reason Murphy didn’t get fired is because he ate that dog food!’” Murphy says. “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 … If he had known that was hash, none of this would be happening.”
SNL isn’t back with new episodes until Adam Driver returns to the show to host on January 25, but between Murphy’s dog-food story and upcoming Stories From the Show episodes with Aidy Bryant and Will Ferrell, there’s plenty of SNL content to tide us over while we wait.