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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 02: Eddie Murphy speaks onstage at the Celebration of Black Cinema at Landmark Annex on December 02, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for the Celebration of Black Cinema)

Last night, Eddie Murphy returned to the Saturday Night Live for the first time in 35 years (other than a brief cameo in an anniversary special). From his monologue to his revamping of some of his classic characters, he showed just why he is a SNL legend.

His opening monologue showed his titanic influence among — as if anyone had forgotten. He was joined by fellow SNL alumni Tracy Morgan and Chris Rock, as well as Dave Chapelle and current (and longest-running cast member) Keenan Thompson. He noted that it was the last episode of 2019. “But if you’re black, it’s the first episode since I left in 1984.” He also took a shot at Bill Cosby, saying that if you told him back then that he’d be a boring stay at home dad with ten kids and Cosby would be in jail, “Even I would have taken that bet.” Mimicking Cosby, he said, “Who is America’s Dad now?”

He brought back his “Mister Robinson” character for a new segment of Mister Robinson’s Neighborhood and took on gentrification.

Here, he played a contestant in a TV baking competition.

He brought back his Velvet Jones character; he was a contestant on Black Jeopardy.

Black Jeopardy: Velvet Jones - SNL

Contestants Rashad (Chris Redd), Kiana (Ego Nwodim) and Mr. Velvet Jones (Eddie Murphy) compete on Black Jeopardy, hosted by Darnell Hayes (Kenan Thompson).

Two other characters that he brought back were Buckwheat, as a contestant for The Masked Singer (that skit hasn’t been posted to YouTube yet), and Gumby, who crashed Weekend Update.

He also played a disgruntled elf at Santa’s North Pole, explaining to a news crew about a polar bear rampage caused by global warming and Santa’s negligence.

He also appeared in two skits that were cut for time. In “Holiday Gig,” he plays a keytar player performing at a Hanukkah party that keeps getting interrupted.

 

Here, he cameos in a skit about cast member Aidy Bryant’s obsession with musical guest Lizzo.

It was one of the best Saturday Night Live episodes in a long time; here’s hoping it won’t be another 35 years.