In a long series of tweets last night, Norm MacDonald posted a recap of the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary special from his perspective, from how the writing process started, to running into Paul McCartney in the studio, to trying to get Eddie Murphy into a sketch. Gothamist transcribed the whole thing...you should read it, it's great.
And then comes Eddie. I'm standing with my son, Lori Jo, and Chris Rock. We see Eddie from 100 yards away. Rock says, "There he is. Like Ali in Zaire." Eddie, Bomaye. It's my job to talk him in to doing Jeopardy. We talk in his dressing room a good hour. When it's over, I'm convinced he'll do it. He doesn't. He knew the laughs would bring the house down. Eddie Murphy knows what will work on SNL better than any one. Eddie decides the laughs are not worth it. He will not kick a man when he is down. Eddie Murphy, I realize, is not like the rest of us. Eddie does not need the laughs. Eddie Murphy is the coolest, a rockstar even in a room with actual rockstars.
I'll reiterate: Macdonald obviously did not deserve to be ranked so low on this Rolling Stone list of all the SNL cast members.
Update: Here's the original SCTV skit (feat. Eugene Levy, John Candy, and Martin Short) that inspired Celebrity Jeopardy.
I missed this last summer when it went around originally, but all of Questlove's celebrity stories are collected here. I had to post it at the end of the day because if this is relevant to your interests, and I think it may be, it's going to run roughshod over your productivity.
thing is...i know they brought me in for the freakish factor. but only dave bothered to ask me what do i do in real life....so when i told him he was shocked like "wait you are an established artist?" even funnier was the reference "so if this like us picking up george clintons bass player thinking we got a random freaky guy and we messed around and got an icon?"---i was flattered and said "lets hope you still feel that way when its time for my album to come out"
I'm pretty sure the Eddie Murphy story features Prince, but it's too long to even excerpt.
i "organixed" the shit outta phil in 97 at the grammies when i told him some geek shit like you and stevie wonder are the best ride cymbal crashers in modern rock after bonham. i told him "do you know do you care" shows that example in his cymbal work. man i made his day with that one.
Here's Quest talking about Will Smith's house. So you know Questlove isn't easily impressed, this is the same Will Smith whose house was recently featured on the cover of Architectural Digest.
I'm telling you, the whole site is gold. Read everything.
For more Questlove awesome, see his recent interview on Pitchfork. Read everything there, too. It's great.
From the Oct 11, 1982 issue of New York magazine, a profile of Eddie Murphy. Murphy was then two years into his four-year stay on SNL and only a couple months away from his feature film debut in 48 Hrs.
Murphy heads downstairs to do his first stand-up routine in months. The audience is mostly black. He goes onstage after a CBS vice-president, who has spoken at great length about the perilous state of the record industry. Murphy aggresively thanks CBS for signing him to do an album just when "things are all f---ed up." Cheap humor, but the crowd loves it. Murphy zips through his routines ("Guy who shot the pope wants to go straight to hell") and then puts sunglasses and staggers around the stage, doing a cruelly accurate -- and funny -- impression of Stevie Wonder, complete with a rendition of the blind singer's wandering smile.
Murphy finally sits back down at his table and is astonished when Stevie Wonder is led over to meet him. They have never met before. Murphy rises. Wonder shakes his hand and then throws a right fist at Murphy and says, "Mutha, you do me one more time and I'll whip you!" But he's laughing and so is Murphy.
Here's a more recent Eddie Murphy experience.