Eddie Murphy made his triumphant return to Studio 8H, hosting Saturday Night Live for the first time in 30 years. As to be expected, the legendary comedian reprised many of the beloved characters from his time as a cast member on the late-night sketch show, including Mister Robinson, Gumby, Buckwheat, and Velvet Jones.
Murphy’s first sketch came in the form of a modernized take on Mister Robinson, which incorporated jokes about gentrification and stealing Amazon packages while maintaining the rawness of the original skits from the 80s. He then reprised Buckwheat in a spoofing of The Masked Singer, and brought back Velvet Jones as a contestant on Black Jeopardy. But perhaps the episode’s biggest highlight came when Murphy donned the Gumby suit for a surprise and rather disgruntled cameo on Weekend Update.
Elsewhere during the episode, Murphy was joined on stage by Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan, Dave Chappelle, and Kenan Thompson for the show’s opening monologue. As black comedians who followed in Murphy’s footsteps, each man took a moment to recognize Murphy’s greatness — with a few jokes mixed in for good measure.
Other sketches saw Murphy play the patriarch of a family sitting down for Christmas dinner; a contestant in a holiday baking competition; and an elf who was an eye-witness to a vicious polar bear attack.
Even all these years later, Murphy’s comedic timing is a sight to behold and many of SNL’s current cast members could barely keep their composure during the sketches he appeared in. See for yourself by watching replays of the aforementioned sketches below.
Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait another 30 years before Murphy returns for another go-around on SNL.
Aside from Murphy, SNL’s Christmas episode also featured a pair of show-stopping performances from Lizzo.