1. Eddie Murphy (1980-1984)
While we're bummed that the Tower Heist star pulled out of his Academy Awards hosting duties for next month, the comedian's appearance in the Brett Ratner film got us pumped that 2012 might just be Eddie Murphy's year, Oscars or not.
Long before he was called upon for to tackle the most prestigious hosting gig in the business, however, he was bringing some color to the SNL cast back in the early '80s, where he began to make a name for himself. In only four seasons, Murphy introduced the public to some of the series' most memorable characters and sketches, including Buckwheat, Mr. Robinson, Gumby, James Brown, and even an "investigative report" that had him going undercover in "whiteface" to experience life as a Caucasian dude. From day one, Murphy's definitive edge set him apart from the pack. We're looking forward to seeing more of it in the coming year.