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Eddie Murphy Hosts Saturday Night Live's Christmas Episode

The SNL alum's long-awaited homecoming brings with it the promise of many familiar faces.
  • Eddie Murphy returns to host Saturday Night Live tonight for the first time in 35 years. (Photo: NBC)
    Eddie Murphy returns to host Saturday Night Live tonight for the first time in 35 years. (Photo: NBC)

    Over the years, Saturday Night Live's Christmas episodes have become a thing of legend. Usually hosted by someone with a close relationship with the show (Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have all done the honors), these episodes have come to feel like old home week, featuring scores of cameos and faces from the show's past. This year promises to kick things up a notch as Eddie Murphy —  SNL's biggest star in its 45 year history —  returns to host the show for the first time in 35 years. As Primetimer's Aaron Barnhart points out, it's proof positive that we are living in Peak SNL.

    NEW EPISODE: Eddie Murphy is promising to revive many of his old characters on tonight's Saturday Night Live, and from Gumby to Buckwheat to Mr Robinson to Velvet Jones to Stevie Wonder, he's got plenty to choose from. He'll be joined by musical guest Lizzo. The show airs live coast-to-coast at 11:30pm ET/ 8:30pm PT on NBC

    HOLIDAY SPECIAL: In a stroke of programming genius, Lifetime's Battle of the Christmas Movie Stars pits the stars of the channel's many holiday movies against each other in various DIY challenges to determine who will be the king or queen of Lifetime Christmas. 11:00am ET on Lifetime

    MADE FOR TV MOVIE: The holiday romance It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas stars Eric Mabius (Ugly Betty) and Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica) as mayors of neighboring towns competing to see who can lead their hamlet to victory the state's annual "Christmas Spirit Competition."  8:00pm ET on Hallmark

    CABLE PREMIERE: HBO's Saturday night movie premiere this week is the teen drama The Sun is Also a Star, starring Yara Shahidi and Charles Melton as two strangers who fall in love while one of their families faces deportation. Watch the trailer8:00pm ET on HBO

    MADE FOR TV MOVIE: Tatyana Ali (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) stars in Christmas Hotel as a high power New York luxury hotelier who returns to her small hometown and discovers the true meaning of the season. Sean Patrick Thomas (The District) costars. 8:00pm on Lifetime

    HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Hard to believe, but Food Network claims that Ultimate Hanukkah Challenge is TV's very first Hanukkah cooking challenge. Did someone say latkes? Molly Yeh hosts, with judges Duff Goldman and Sharone Hakman. 9:00pm ET on Food Channel 


    • Saturday Night Live's 10pm encore broadcast flashes back to last December, with host Matt Damon and musical guests Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus. 10:00pm ET on NBC

    Jed Rosenzweig is the Founder and Publisher of Primetimer. 

    TOPICS: Saturday Night Live, NBC, Eddie Murphy, Christmas, Holiday Programming