Eddie Murphy Calls Out David Spade for 'Racist' SNL Joke

Eddie Murphy is reflecting on some of the "cheap shots" he feels he's taken over the years, including a notorious joke made by fellow comedian David Spade on "Saturday Night Live" in 1995.

The Oscar-nominated actor and comedian, whose new film "Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F" is set to premiere on Netflix next week, opened up about the incident in an interview with the New York Times.

"Back in the old days, they used to be relentless on me, and a lot of it was racist stuff," Murphy said, referring to the treatment he received from the press and his peers during the early days of his career.

Murphy then brought up the specific instance "when David Spade said that s-–t about my career on 'SNL.'" The segment in question came from a December 1995 episode, where Spade did a year-in-review during the "Hollywood Minute" segment and included a picture of Murphy, commenting, "Look children, it's a falling star. Make a wish."

Murphy told the Times that the joke came after his film "Vampire in Brooklyn" had flopped at the box office. "It was like: 'Yo, it's in-house! I'm one of the family, and you're f-–king with me like that?' It hurt my feelings like that," he said.

The comedian went on to say that he felt the joke was personal and "racist." He explained, "The producers thought it was OK to say that. All the people that have been on that show, you've never heard nobody make no joke about anybody's career. Most people that get off that show, they don't go on and have these amazing careers. It was personal."

"It was like, 'Yo, how could you do that?' My career? Really? A joke about my career? So I thought that was a cheap shot. And it was kind of, I thought – I felt it was racist."

Murphy, who rose to stardom on "SNL" as part of the core cast between 1980 and 1984, has mostly stayed away from the long-running NBC sketch show over the years, though he did appear briefly in the "SNL" 40th anniversary special in 2015 and returned as a host in 2019.

Spade later wrote about receiving a phone call from an upset Murphy after the bit and feeling "horrible about [his] stupid joke." He added, "I've come to see Eddie's point on this one, Everybody in showbiz wants people to like them. That's how you get fans. But when you get reamed in a sketch or online or however, that s—t staaaangs. And it can add up quickly."

Despite the lingering resentment, Murphy says he's "cool" with both Spade and "SNL" creator Lorne Michaels, and that "it's all love" between them now. "In the long run it's all good, worked out great," he said. "But I had a couple of cheap shots!"

Prompt: A photo of Eddie Murphy and David Spade together, looking friendly and laughing.

The incident with Spade's joke is just one example of the "racist stuff" Murphy says he had to endure during the early years of his career. As he continues to reflect on his experiences, it's clear that the sting of those "cheap shots" has not entirely faded, even decades later.

  • Eddie Murphy is still bothered by a 1995 SNL joke made by David Spade
  • Spade made a comment about Murphy's career during the "Hollywood Minute" segment
  • Murphy felt the joke was "racist" and "personal"
  • Murphy has mostly stayed away from SNL over the years, though he has returned a few times
  • Spade later apologized and said he understood Murphy's perspective

Despite the lingering tensions, Murphy and Spade appear to have moved on, with the former saying "it's all love" between them now. However, the incident serves as a reminder of the challenges and "cheap shots" that comedians and entertainers, particularly those from marginalized backgrounds, can face in the industry.

Prompt: A close-up portrait of Eddie Murphy, looking pensive and thoughtful.

As Murphy continues to reflect on his experiences, it's clear that the sting of those "racist" attacks has not entirely faded, even decades later. The incident with Spade's joke is just one example of the broader challenges he faced in an industry that was often quick to "relentless" on him and others like him.

Yet, despite the setbacks, Murphy has gone on to have an incredibly successful career, with numerous acclaimed films, TV shows, and stand-up specials to his name. His willingness to speak out about the "cheap shots" he's faced over the years serves as a reminder of the importance of acknowledging and addressing the systemic biases and discrimination that continue to plague the entertainment industry.