My Former Favorite Player Who's Now
Too Big For His Leather Britches
I'll be the first to admit that this was by far the best episode of this season, especially since Eddie Murphy worked with about half of the cast when he was a Not Ready For Prime Time Player, making it feel more like a mini reunion than Eddie just returning as a host of the show with an entirely new line-up of cast member.
With all of that said, I really didn't like how Eddie opened the show by trashing the establishment that gave him the foot in the door that he needed to launch his career. I know that he was trying to be funny but even as a joke I still think it's wrong to say that his former cast mates now suck at the very start of the episode.
Not only does he start out the night by trashing the cast, he also jokingly/openly admitting that he only took the hosting role because of a small slip in his career leading him to need a publicity bump and how he landed Beverly Hills Cop after agreeing to host which led him to regret coming back to the show.
Again, this was said in a joking tone but that doesn't mean that the sentiment wasn't true. Fortunately, this was the only portion of the show where he expressed his too good for the show sentiment because both Chevy Chase and Bill Murray had the same attitude during their first hosting appearance after leaving the show but they both carried on with their arrogance throughout their entire performance where Eddie put in a strong performance to where I would have loved this episode if it wasn't for the big brother bullying start.
So, there are my thoughts on this episode, it's time to move on and share what I saw as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
- This week's show started with Alfalfa reading the newspaper where he spots evidence that Buckwheat is still alive while reading up on sports. Instead of the "Live from New York..." start to the show this week's episode starts with the proclamation of, "Buckwheat's still alive!!!"
- Eddie Murphy then officially opened the show with a monolog about his gigantic ego and how he felt he was too big of an actor to do this lame ass show but then begged to come back the second his career seemed to be drying out following his first failed script. Though this may have been a joke, I still really hate when former cast members start out their hosting appearance by talking down on the current rendition of the show.
- This was followed by White Like Eddie is the classic SNL parody of Black Like Me where Eddie Murphy dresses up like a white guy and gets to experience the special treatment whites get when nobody else is around.
- Mister Robinson's Neighborhood then made its return after being taken over by Ed Koch, this week Mister Robinson is back dressed as Santa with a lesson about stealing Christmas gifts and consumer fraud as a way to survive.
- Milestones was a show hosted by Christopher Guest who interviews Bishop Desmond Tutu and Doug Flutie where everyone seems more interested in Flutie's sport's career over Tutu's peace prize accomplishment. At one point, Desmond Tutu gets handed Flutie's Heisman Trophy and drops it, breaking the arm which leads to a panicked effort to fix it before Flutie can get a chance to notice.
- Lifestyles of the Relatives of the Rich & Famous returns this week they profiled Denise Lewis the niece of Jerry Lewis who is a children's hospital nurse.
- When then went to a suburban house where Buckwheat gets a knock on the door and we find out he's living a life in disguise as Buckwheat with a blond wig. He manages to fool the first guest but when Alfalfa arrives after seeing the evidence in the opening sketch it doesn't take long for Buckwheat to be exposed. It turns out he went into hiding due to an increase of death threats there were coming from Alfalfa over an elementary school time prank. The sketch then ends with Buckwheat getting shot again.
- Robert Plant & The Honeydrippers then took to the stage to perform Rockin' at Midnight.
- Lishman's Deli is a sketch that takes place in a New York Jewish deli where Martin Short and Billy Crystal both play old Jewish guys who discuss life over their meal and are joined by Christopher Guest as an old Jewish character to add to the stereotype based sketch until Gumby arrives to add to it even more.
- Newsmakers was a talk show hosted by Billy Crystal who interviews Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Mary Gross about the American Communist Party who think that American Media is full of lies. It's weird but with time these Communist characters seem to be right but they make then look foolish by adding crazy quirks to their character whenever they agree on a fact.
- Black History Minute is a segment hosted by Eddie Murphy who's playing a militant Muslim character with a history lesson about George Washington Carver's lesser known invention of peanut butter that was stolen by Skippy and Jiffy, his two white guests from the night that he accidentally stumbled onto the treat while trying to invent the record needle which ground down the nut into a creamy state.
- Several cast members then played US military members stuck in a house while fighting the Germans in France during WWII. In the sketch, everyone gets shot but for Lawrence and when we find out that there is a phone to call for backup at the top of the stairs, we also find out Lawrence Can't Climb Stairs or operate the phone when he does eventually get there which leads to a mission fail.
- Once again, Christopher Guest gives us the news for the second time following a week with no news at all. This week, "Paul Harvey" dropped in for his awkwardly paced delivery of what was going on in the news while trying to sneak in several money-making advertising plugs, Pamela Stephenson got a segment as a BBC reporter whose accent is so strong that it was impossible to make out what she was saying, and Eddie wrapped up the news with a segment on Christmas toys.
- Robert Plant & The Honeydrippers then returned to the stage to perform Santa Claus Is Back In Town.
- With the show running short this week they then gave Eddie Murphy 30 second to just hit the stage to kill some time.
- Finally, Eddie Murphy closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Once I got past the shaky start it was then easy to find these three favorite moments unless you count there were a few that I had to turn down because this was such a solid episode. First I loved the White Like Me sketch because it is such a classic moment in SNL history and was still funny when I watched it today. Next, I really liked the sketch where Bishop Desmond Tutu breaks the Heisman Trophy while the Peace Prize winning Bishop went completely ignored because I love the statement that it makes about America's priorities that have only gotten worse since then. Finally, I was a fan of Buckwheat being shot again because it was a brilliant way to bring back the character.