If it wasn't for Murphy, this week's host, Saturday Night Live probably wouldn't be around for Season 45. SNL creator Lorne Michaels left the show in 1980 after five seasons, leading to several turbulent years for the NBC institution. Murphy, who was 19 when he made his SNL debut in December 1980 as a featured player, is credited with helping revitalize the show after he was promoted to the repertory cast after just one month. “It would have been very difficult, I think, to have kept the show on the air without Eddie,” said Dick Ebersol, the NBC executive who helped Michaels launch SNL and who took over the show after Michaels' successor Jean Doumanian was fired, in James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales’ SNL oral history book, Live From New York. “The show would absolutely would have launched for the 1983-84 season, but he was still the main draw. And it would have been pretty hard, I think, to keep up the show long enough to get to the next year.” ALSO: Check out SNL's rundown for the last time Eddie Murphy hosted on Dec. 15, 1984.
TOPICS: Eddie Murphy, NBC, Saturday Night Live, Dick Ebersol