“It really was!” comedian Kathy Griffin told PEOPLE on the red carpet Oct. 18 at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., before the taping of the 18th Annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, this year honoring Eddie Murphy, 54. “We were watching Tracy host SNL and [Dave] Chappelle was in there, and Arsenio [Hall] was there, and it just was so much fun. I was in comedy heaven.”
She added that they “were arguing, laughing, and pitching jokes – and talking about serious things.”
Even Murphy – whom Griffin, 54, calls a “unicorn” with an “air of mystique” because he’s “not out and about” – hung out to celebrate Morgan’s latest gig.
“Eddie was in an Adidas track suit. I was like, ‘Alright LL Cool J, where’s your Kangol?’ ” she said. “And Chappelle was in a suit, which is weird.”
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Regardless of how much fun they had, Griffin said that night was even more special for Morgan, 46, who shared with her the emotional congratulations he got from the crew.
“He said a lot of the crew guys during the week, they would have like a tear coming down their faces,” she said. “And it wasn’t until the show was over that they all would hug him and be like, ‘We knew you could do it.’ ”
She continued, “When we were watching it in Eddie’s room, I don’t think any of us had the feeling of, ‘Oh no, can he do it?’ You could tell Tracy was cool from the jump, from the monologue.”
This past weekend marked Morgan’s first turn as SNL host since a tragic accident last year left him severely injured and in a coma.
Eddie Murphy: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize will air on PBS stations nationwide on Nov. 23 at 9 p.m. ET.