Live from New York,
It's The Eddie Murphy Show
At first, when I just saw the name, Eddie Murphy, in the queue for upcoming hosts, I was impressed that they gave such a young cast member the opportunity to be the first Not Ready For Prime Time Player to host while still being an active member of the cast but I wasn't all that surprised.
Then, today came, and I sat down for the actual viewing where I learned from the opening sketch that he wasn't originally scheduled to be the host but was a fill-in because his co-star, from 48hrs was too ill to pull off the show. I wasn't sure if this was a joke or not, but according to Wikipedia, Nick Nolte was too drunk from partying too hard at the famous Club 54.
This news made me a little nervous because the shows from the past with last-minute replacements have never turned out to be all that good because of all of the last minute changes to get personalized material to fit a person who may have nothing to do with the scene.
Then again, I wasn't really all that concerned because Eddie has been the stand-out from the second he was promoted from featured player and officially joined the cast. That said, though this was a perfectly fine episode, it felt like it was made up of evergreen material that was sitting on the shelf for those non-host moments that are usually peppered throughout an average episode.
Because of this, the show hovered a just above average missing that one memorable segment that would be required to push it over the top as a favorite but it was brilliant considering the last minute change.
With that, it's time to move on to share what I saw as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show starts in the dressing room where Eddie Murphy announces that he will be taking over, costar from 48hrs, Nick Nolte's hosting duties because he's fallen ill. He finishes the intro by also announcing, "Live from New York, it's The Eddie Murphy Show."
Eddie Murphy then opens the show with a monolog where he acts like he's not part of the cast as he parodies an average host's intro before performing a bit of his stand-up routine where he tells a joke that eventually becomes a sketch and finishes with his impersonation of Stevie Wonder.
Rubik's Grenade is a fake ad for the next in the line of Rubik's puzzles where you have to align the colors to stop the Rubik's Grenade from going off.
Merry Christmas, Dammit! is a Christmas special hosted by Gumby where we get drop-in from "Donnie and Marie" who make out at the end of their song, Gumby tells the children a grumpy Christmas tale, a trio of "Don Kings" sing us a tune and "Frank Sinatra" does his thing as he sings cartoon theme songs.
We then get some old school '80s racism that I'm actually surprised that there's not more of from this time. In the sketch, Lee Iacocca announces his pride in his car companies made in America stance despite being in a room full of Asians reminding him that all of his products are made in Japan. If it wasn't for the logo at the end that reads Clysler-Prymouth this sketch was actually more about pointing out the hypocrisy of corporate America. So, at least when it comes to Asians, the show reverted back to the old ways where the innocent are hit with shrapnel while trying to make a point.
We then go to a recital filled with what seems to be horrible dancing until we find out that we are actually at the Kensington Dance Theatre For The Blind. It turns out that the dancers are not actually blind, but they are dancers that perform for the blind which is why they can keep performing while being so bad.
Once again, Brad Hall gives us the news. This week, Sweetchuck drops in as his scientist character to explore funny Christmas themed words, Robin Duke plays an old lady who drops in with advice for lonely geriatric during the holiday season which mainly involving drinking and celebrating on your own, and Mary Gross drops in to complain about Christmas as her aggravated ranting character that I love.
Lionel Richie then takes to the stage to perform You Are.
We then meet The Herpes Family where the father just got promoted to herpes simplex two and the family lives like a bunch of terrorists defending their way of life despite their host attempts to get rid of them.
Lionel Richie then returns to the stage to perform Truly.
We then get a repeat of The Meaning Of Christmas which is a sketch from season seven where Mary Gross interviews children on the street about Christmas, and all of their answers have to do with how capitalist the season has grown to be.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus then returns as her televangelist character to give us A Special Christmas Message where she tells the traditional Christmas story of the birth of Christ in a very modern and snobby way.
Finally, Eddie Murphy closes the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights only to be interrupted by Steven Martin who rushed over to ask why he wasn't called in as a fill-in host.
This was probably my favorite of the average evergreen episodes that I've seen with these as my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the Kensington Dance Theatre For The Blind especially after finding out that the dancers themselves weren't blind but that they perform for the blind because it was a twist that I wasn't really expecting. Next, I really liked Eddie Murphy's character in the Hairem Scarem because I feel that he saved an otherwise not so funny sketch. Finally, I was a fan of the Rubik's Grenade ad because I recently had a brief moment where I was obsessed with the cube during my resolution days.