Eddie Murphy brings millions of extra viewers to ‘SNL’

Eddie Murphy in a sketch on "Saturday Night Live."
Eddie Murphy in a sketch on "Saturday Night Live."Will Heath/NBC via AP

For the record, Eddie Murphy’s Dec. 21 episode of “Saturday Night Live” was a record-breaker, ratings-wise. The former cast member’s return brought the show its highest viewership — after the live plus seven days data — since Oct. 18, 2008. That Josh Brolin-hosted episode from 11 years ago featured an appearance by then vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin and musical performances by Adele.

Murphy’s “SNL,” with musical guest Lizzo, brought in a total of 16.2 million viewers (6.3 million of whom watched in the week after the airing). That’s a profound increase over the season’s previous episodes, which averaged 8.5 million.


The show returns on Jan. 25, by the way, with host Adam Driver and musical guest Halsey.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.