SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 12: (L-R) Eddie Murphy, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, attends the 25th Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 12, 2020 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Critics Choice Association)
TV - Movies
A Mistake In Clock
Management Led
To Eddie Murphy's
Big Break On SNL
Like many great comedic actors, Eddie Murphy got his big break on "Saturday Night Live," and received a spot on the show at the age of 19. However, Murphy wasn't guaranteed fame and recognition just because of his talent; he actually got his own "SNL" segment for the first time because the crew made an error in the middle of an episode.
During the filming of the January 10, 1981 episode of "SNL," the crew realized that the program was running five minutes shorter than intended. Producer Jean Doumanian scrambled for solutions to fill the five extra minutes of air time, and writer Neil Levy remembered Murphy and the monologue the young comic had auditioned with.
Levy says that when he asked Murphy to go on stage and do the monologue, "his face lit up like he'd been waiting for this moment his whole life." Murphy's performance, which helped to define his style of comedic acting, went over so well that he was promoted from a featured player to a full cast member a few weeks later — and the rest is history.