Eddie Murphy Returns to “SNL” After 35 Years: Watch the Highlights

The comedian brought back characters like Buckwheat and Gumby and was joined by some famous friends

Eddie Murphy was joined by Tracy Morgan, Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock during his monologue on "SNL."
Eddie Murphy was joined by Tracy Morgan, Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock during his monologue on "SNL."
By Bonnie Stiernberg / December 22, 2019 9:53 am

It’s been 35 years since Eddie Murphy last hosted Saturday Night Live — on Dec. 15, 1984, just a few months after he left the show’s cast to focus on his film career — but the comedian made his triumphant return to his old stomping grounds last night (Dec. 21), reviving some of his popular characters and bringing out a few surprise guests.

Murphy was joined in his monologue by Tracy Morgan, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle. He also used the segment to poke fun at Bill Cosby, saying, “If you had told me 30 years ago that I would be this boring stay-at-home house dad and Bill Cosby would be in jail, even I would have took that bet,” before slipping into his Cosby impression to ask “Who is America’s Dad now?” (Cosby, who is serving a prison sentence after being found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, famously criticized Murphy for swearing in his standup routines.)

Popular Murphy characters to make their return during the episode included Mr. Robinson, whose neighborhood is now being gentrified; Gumby, who caused Colin Jost to break on “Weekend Update;” and Buckwheat, who appeared as a contestant on The Masked Singer. (You can watch all of those sketches below.)

Murphy also revived his Velvet Jones character in a “Black Jeopardy” sketch, and the show brought out plenty of guest stars — including Maya Rudolph, Larry David, Fred Armisen, Jason Sudeikis and Rachel Dratch — for its Democratic debate cold open.

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