Eddie Murphy made his first episodic Saturday Night Live appearance since 1984 tonight, and he reprised a quartet of his most memorable characters from that 1980-84 stint as a castmember in new sketches. First up was “Mister Robinson’s Neighborhood”; watch that one here.
And it probably wouldn’t be an Eddie Murphy return to Studio 8H if there wasn’t at least one network-mandated bleeping. There were two — one during a spoof of a holiday baking show and another when Gumby crashed “Weekend Update.” More on that reprisal below.
During the NBC late-night skit-a-thon, the man who pretty much singlehandedly rescued SNL after the Not Ready for Primetime Players left busted out Buckwheat, Gumby and Velvet Jones. Watch below as the Little Rascals refugee — do folks in 2019 even a-member them? — get revealed on The Masked Singer and proceed to, er, belt out hits by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley and Aretha Franklin. Good thing Buckwheat survived that horrific, nationally televised assassination attempt in 1983.
Then there was Murphy’s Gumby redux, as the Christmas-green Claymation being grumbles his way through setup after setup by Colin Jost and Michael Che on “Weekend Update” before threatening to light his cigar and eventually overstay his welcome. The poor head-writer duo don’t even try to keep a straight face.
Then we are welcomed to “Black Jeopardy,” where the smooth-talking pimp Velvet Jones returns to hawk his latest edition of How to Be a Ho and a couple of other new books. Not sure how far that $1500 a week stretches in 2019, but Murphy repeatedly stumbled with the cue cards during that sketch — likely because of those nearly-closed eyes.
As a bonus, here is Murphy — who appeared on SNL‘s 40th anniverasary special in 2015 — as the semi-proud father who gives a holiday toast to his family that has gathered for Christmas: