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Eddie Murphy Closes Out the 2010s with One of the Best 'SNL' Episodes of the Decade

By Dustin Rowles | TV | December 22, 2019 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | December 22, 2019 |


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I hope you all have a lot of time this morning because you should just go ahead and watch the entire damn episode. Eddie Murphy’s return was worth the 35-year-wait, as he delivers what will surely become a classic SNL episode.

Cold Open — With the last SNL of the decade, the show wisely kicks off the show covering the Democratic Debate, a far better choice than another Trump skit. Jason Sudeikis takes back the Joe Biden mantle from Woody Harrelson — and he is terrific — and Maya Rudolph shows up to remind us how what we’re missing. “You could have had a bad bitch!” Sad emoji, y’all. I wanted a bad bitch. Rachel Dratch also does a terrific Amy Klobuchar, Fred Armisen reappears as Bloomberg, and Kate McKinnon pulls double duty as Liz Warren and Nancy Pelosi. Unfortunately, an otherwise amusing cold open is dragged down by the unnecessary appearance of Alec Baldwin’s Trump. GO AWAY BALDWIN. (Score: 6.5 out of 10)

Eddie Murphy Monologue — Lots of expectations, and honestly, Murphy met them all by himself. “If you would have told me 30 years ago that I would be this boring stay-at-home house dad and Bill Cosby would be in prison, even I would have took that bet … Who is America’s dad now?” Yes! But then, hell if he didn’t bring out Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan, and Dave Chappelle, who added a few jokes of their own, and Morgan may have had the joke of the damn night about earning all his money on the road. (Score: 9 out of 10)

Mister Robinson’s Neighborhood — This right here is reason enough all by itself to tune in tonight, and it’s as good as we might have hoped, as Mister Robinson deals with gentrification in his neighborhood, “racist” neighbors, and another illegitimate child. I am in goddamn SNL heaven right now. (Score: 8 out of 10)

Holiday Baking Championship — This is the third time they have trotted this sketch out, and it’s actually gotten better each time, culminating in a cake made by Eddie Murphy with actual human teeth. Also, Eddie Murphy said “shit” on live TV. Was it on accident? Does it matter? (Score: 7.5 out of 10)

Home for the Holidays — The show returns with another one of those terrific skits that reveal the reality behind big family events and get-togethers. It’s not as good as the Macy’s ad last week or last year’s Christmas one with Matt Damon, but it’s solid. (Score: 7 out of 10)

The Masked Singer — How do you bring back Buckwheat in 2019 in an organic and relevant way? Make him a contestant on The Masked Singer, of course. No one under the age of 35 has any idea who Buckwheat is, but that doesn’t make the skit any less funny. (Watch Here) (Score: 6.5 out of 10)

Weekend Update — Che and Jost were doing a fine job on Trump/impeachment all by themselves, and then Eddie Murphy’s Gumby came out and straight crushed it. Pete Davidson was great for any other week, but he’s just OK relative to the rest of “Update” tonight (watch here), including another edition of Jost and Che trading jokes that had me giggling for five minutes straight. If that’s enough, they ended it with Cecily Strong returning as Jeanine Pirro (watch here), who vomits up a gallon of wine on Jost. Best “Update” of 2019. Also, it’s 12:37, and the show has just finished “Update,” which has to be a record for the latest “Update” has ever finished. (Score: 9 out of 10)

Black Jeopardy — Jesus Christ, as if the show could not be any better, they bring back Murphy’s Velvet Jones and they put him on Black Jeopardy. It’s the weakest skit of the night, so far, and yet, it’d be the best skit on most weeks. That said, my good friend Mat owns the entire Velvet Jones’ collection and earns $1500 a week because it’s 2019 and anyone can be a Ho. He would love this skit. (Watch Here) (Score: 6 out of 10)

North Pole Local Newscast — A polar bear breaks into Santa’s workshop and EATS ALL THE ELVES, and Eddie Murphy’s elf loses his goddamn mind. “IT DON’T MATTER WHAT MY NAME IS.” It’s a solid 10 to 1 skit that probably would have led the show on most weeks. (Watch Here) (Score: 6 out of 10)




Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.



Header Image Source: NBC