'SNL' alumnus Eddie Murphy will return to host show Dec. 21

Gumby is coming home. So is Buckwheat and Mr. Robinson.

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Eddie Murphy will return to "Saturday Night Live," the show that made him a star, as a host during the NBC show's 45th season Dec. 21, The New York Times reported.

Except for a brief appearance in "SNL's" 40th anniversary show in 2015, Murphy has not appeared on the show since he hosted it in December 1984, the newspaper reported.

Murphy was the spark for "SNL" during its lean years in the early 1980s. He debuted as a 19-year-old in 1980 and rapidly became a fan favorite, Entertainment Weekly reported. In addition to Gumby, Murphy spoofed "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" as Mr. Robinson, and Buckwheat from "The Little Rascals."

Murphy later went on to an acting career but stayed away from the show after he was angered by a joke by cast member David Spade. In 1995, during a slump in Murphy's career, Spade showed a photo of the actor and said, "Look, children, a falling star," Entertainment Weekly reported.

Woody Harrelson will host the "SNL" season premiere Sept. 28 and will be joined by pop singer Billie Elish as the show's musical guest. NBC said.

"Fleabag" star Phoebe Waller-Bridge, David Harbour of "Stranger Things" and Kristen Stewart will also host early in the season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Taylor Swift will be the show's musical guest Oct. 5, the newspaper reported.