It's been more than a week since Eddie Murphy returned to Saturday Night Live (SNL) for the first time in 35 years. To call the reception a triumph would be tantamount to calling Mount Rushmore simply a statue, because the raves from fans and contemporaries, along with the ratings, are still rolling in by the minute. On New Year's Eve, December 31, The Wrap reported that delayed viewing, mostly per DVR recording, not only led to the highest "SNL" ratings in 11 years, scoring 293 million viewers but also to the biggest lift in post-broadcast viewers.

However, what the host took the most pride in was having all 10 of his children and extended family in attendance.

Eddie Murphy is reveling in a career renaissance that many would give all their royalty checks to experience. He is a Golden Globe Award nominee for “Dolomite Is My Name,” and as with the lead character, Rudy Ray Moore, Murphy is a man who has shown remarkable acumen in changing with the times without abandoning beloved history. In the 90s, he took on family-friendly movie fare with “The Nutty Professor” and even animated roles like the unforgettable voice of Donkey in “Shrek.” The characters had several runs of their Christmas specials this season.

Amid all the Eddie Murphy buzz, in the coming award season, ET noted, on December 30, that the comedian has also been honored by the Critics Choice Awards for Lifetime Achievement in comedy. In his December 29, “Sunday Morning” sit-down with Tracy Smith, Murphy playfully relented, admitting that “every 10 years," he has "come back.” In reality, Eddie Murphy is the same innovative, hard-working comic who broke out at 19, doing the job that had to be done, only now with many more mouths to feed.

With revealing insight, he credits being “grounded spiritually” with saving him from many of the pitfalls of success, and admits that prayer is part of every day for the dad of 10.

Still ready to call out

Leave it to Murphy to call out Bill Cosby in the most pointed way ever in the first minutes of his “SNL” monologue. After his dead-on imitation of the imprisoned icon, Eddie insisted: “if anyone had told me I would be Dad of the Year, and you would be in prison, I'd have taken that bet.” In some corners, Eddie Murphy is getting blasted for criticizing another highly-successful, however, fallen, black celebrity.

Murphy has no regrets, reflecting on his comedy of today and “of the time” in the 80s. He confesses that some comments toward the gay community are “cringey” to him now, but he's not sorry for being who he is.

In some ways, the times don't seem to have changed at all. When Eddie Murphy spoke from the stage of the 1988 Oscars, declaring that African-Americans would not be the “caboose” of the industry, he realized there would be repercussions. It took almost 10 years for the star to earn an Oscar nomination for “Dreamgirls,” so fans can do the math for themselves. The Golden Globes are still greatly white this year, and women are only featured in two categories.

Eddie Murphy is as timely as ever and needs to get the hosting gig next year.

24-hour power

As Bill Cosby can attest, Eddie Murphy has never been afraid to speak his mind, sometimes with a variety of colorful vocabulary. At the same time, his comedy has always been an equal-opportunity humor-fest, poking fun at the black, the white, and all in between.

“I've always been comfortable in my own skin,” declares the 58-year-old father of an infant, a toddler, and sons and daughters older than he was in his comedy debut. He credits his confidence and staying power to a higher power.

“I pray all the time, and you don't have to get down on your knees to pray,” says the papa.

Murphy decisively reflects that the reason he was saved from “drug problems and self-destructive issues” was due to his spiritual stance.

Fans can see Eddie Murphy's Lifetime Achievement honor when the 25th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards airs January 12 on the CW. Lizzo may not be there to belt out a song, wear neon green, or bring a pole dancer, but there's sure to be lots of love for this funnyman’s four decades of laughs.

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