'I Felt It Was Racist': Eddie Murphy Reflects on 'Cheap' Joke David Spade Made About Him on SNL in 1995

Eddie Murphy is looking back on what he called a "racist" joke that David Spade made about him on Saturday Night Live nearly three decades ago

Published Time: 29.06.2024 - 22:31:18 Modified Time: 29.06.2024 - 22:31:18

Eddie Murphy is looking back on what he called a "racist" joke that David Spade made about him on Saturday Night Live nearly three decades ago.

During an appearance on the June 29 episode of The New York TimesThe Interviewpodcast, the Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F star opened up about some unfair criticism and treatment he received over the years — from both the media and, in particular, one joke that Spade made during a December 1995 “Hollywood Minute” sketch.

In the infamous sketch, an image of Murphy appeared on the screen as Spade, now 59, said, "Look children, it's a falling star, make a wish."

The sketch arrived less than two months after the theatrical release of Murphy's film Vampire in Brooklyn, a movie that Murphy said on the podcast had just "flopped."

“It was like, ‘Yo, it’s in-house! I’m one of the family, and you’re f------ with me like that?’ It hurt my feelings,” said Murphy, 63.

"This is Saturday Night Live. I’m the biggest thing that ever came off that show. The show would have been off the air if I didn’t go back on the show, and now you got somebody from the cast making a crack about my career? And I know that he can’t just say that," Murphy continued.

"A joke has to go through these channels. So the producers thought it was okay to say that," he added. "And 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."

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Murphy then noted that he considered the joke "a cheap shot" and "felt it was racist." The comedian — who didn't return to the SNL stage until years later for the show's 40th anniversary special in 2015 — added that "in the long run, it's all good."

"I'm cool with David Spade. Cool with SNL creator Lorne Michaels. Went back to SNL, I'm cool with everybody. It's all love," he said. "But I had a couple of cheap shots."

A rep for Spade did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment on Saturday.

Spade previously revealed that Murphy attempted to reach him multiple times on the Monday after the sketch first aired and, after ducking his calls, he eventually picked up the phone. As Spade later recounted to Sway in the Morning in 2018, Murphy yelled at him and brought up "valid points" about how he helped keep SNL "on the air" during their phone conversation.

"I couldn't really get anything out. I was a fan, I wanted to say... I don't think I said that much," Spade recalled. "I was scared. And my feelings were so hurt because I love Eddie Murphy so much and he hated me. I'd rather just wonder if he ever thought I was funny, now I have proof he doesn't and he hates me."

In his 2015 memoir Almost Interesting, Spade wrote that he ultimately felt bad about the “stupid" joke, per Variety.

“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 shit staaaangs," he wrote. "And it can add up quickly.”

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