Saturday Night Live had quite the task on its hands this weekend as Eddie Murphy was on hand to host. Buckwheat is one of many characters the legendary comedian brought back for this holiday episode and the crowd absolutely loved it. The sketch ended up being a send-up of The Masked Singer. For those who don’t know, the show is a singing contest with a modern twist. Contestants perform with bright, colorful costumes and masks and it is up to the judges to divine who the people performing under those cartoon heads are. Hearing that silly voice ring out from a corn cob Saturday night was absolutely surreal. Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin, and Stevie Wonder all got the Buckwheat treatment during the sketch. It’s a very wild bit, but it made sense to go through all of the different characters that made Murphy a legend.
Mister Robinson’s Neighborhood was out there early and the studio crowd was audibly ready for a trip back to the hood with the comedian. Topics like racism and gentrification came up in the day's lessons and Twitter was buzzing from the first moment of the sketch. That wasn’t all though, as Gumby made an appearance during Weekend Update with all of his swarthy charm. Colin Jost and Michael Che couldn’t keep it together as Murphy was absolutely at the top of his game as he ranted and raved about a number of topics with that cigar in hand.
A very special moment during the monologue occurred when different black comedy stars joined Murphy on stage to pitch him some ideas for sketches. It’s not every day that you see Tracy Morgan, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, and Kenan Thompson all sharing a stage. But, SNL marked how singular this effort was going to be from the word go. One spectacular joke from the monologue made light of the fact that most of the men onstage were being paid a ton of money by Netflix for their output. Poor Tracy Morgan just responded that he got all his money from getting hit by a truck. Still, the image of all of them standing together has dominated conversation today as well.
This is what people were expecting from the episode and exactly what Murphy had alluded to when talking to The Today Show about it earlier this week with Al Roker.
"We're talking about a Gumby thing. And we're talking about a Buckwheat thing," Murphy explained. "And we're talking about a Bill Cosby thing, maybe. It'd be very funny. I don't know if would think it was funny, but it would be very funny."
"Mister Robinson, if we can come up with Mister Robinson," he added. "Or Velvet Jones. I'm down for whatever as long as it's really, really funny."