It's been over 30 years since Eddie Murphy has taken to the Saturday Night Live stage. And his grand return on Dec. 21 definitely did not disappoint. The comedian brought back some of his fan-favorite characters including Mister Robinson, Gumby, and, of course, Buckwheat.
Naturally, Murphy put a 2019 spin on his portrayal of Buckwheat as his character was busy competing on The Masked Singer. After the judges guessed correctly that it was him (in a Corn on the Cob disguise), Buckwheat put his singing "skills" to use. He then went on to perform the most hilarious renditions of "Feliz Navidad," Otis Redding/Aretha Franklin's "Respect" and Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" that were all way more than just "otay."
Prior to his return to SNL, Murphy spoke out about the possibility of bringing some of those famous characters of his back.
In October, Murphy appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to discuss his film Dolemite Is My Name and his upcoming appearance on SNL.
"Oh yeah, I'm gonna do Gumby," Murphy told host Stephen Colbert when asked about whether any of his fan-favorite characters would be making a return, too. "I'm trying to figure out some reason to do a Velvet Jones, and Mister Robinson's Neighborhood. ... And a funny Buckwheat sketch. [laughs] You don't wanna go back after 35 years and feel, 'Eh, that was alright.'"
Just as Murphy mentioned, it has been over 30 years since he's appeared on SNL (minus a brief appearance for the show's 40th anniversary in 2015). It was announced back in August that he would be making a return to the series as a host. When asked why finally wanted to return, the comedian related that SNL's 40th anniversary celebration helped spark the idea.
"The show's been on the air for over 40 years now, so it's this American institution," he told Antonio Banderas in November during Variety's Actors on Actors feature. "They had this 40-year anniversary a few years back, so everybody that was ever on the show was there, and it was this really great night. I got this big wave of nostalgia and great feelings and seeing all these other actors that have been on the show. There was such a strong kinship with everybody, I felt like I was at my old high school. I decided, this Christmas, I'm going to go back and host the show. I hope it's funny."
And Murphy's return to SNL, filled with Buckwheat cameos and all, was indeed hilariously funny, which should come as a surprise to absolutely no one.