Eddie Murphy swears on live TV during ‘SNL’ comeback
The comedian brings back Mr. Robinson, Gumby and Buckwheat but also lets an obscenity slip during overdue return to the show that made him famous.
On his first “Saturday Night Live” hosting appearance in 35 years, Eddie Murphy didn’t say “Live from New York,” but he did blurt out a naughty word.
The superstar comedian, whose deft use of of profanity runs from his classic 1980s stand-up specials through his current Netflix film “Dolemite Is My Name,” made the slip while playing a contestant on “Holiday Baking Championship.”
Having concocted a cake so awful it burst into flames and began speaking, Murphy tried to shut up the sentient, mutant dessert by barking, “We can still win this s—-!” (The word is censored in the online clip below.) Instantly aware of his gaffe on live TV, Murphy covered his mouth and looked sheepish — but only a little.
The episode, which began with a Murphy-free Democratic presidential debate scene, also included the return of his Mr. Rogers parody character Mr. Robinson (older, thicker, grayer and still in his slum apartment but in a gentrified neighborhood), a medley by Buckwheat (whose voice was instantly recognized by the “Masked Singer” judges), a Weekend Update harangue by Gumby (heaping insults on Colin Jost and Michael Che) and even a “Black Jeopardy” stint by book-shilling pimp Velvet Jones.
In his monologue Murphy traded gags with surprise visitors Tracy Morgan, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle, and took a shot at Bill Cosby. Comparing Cosby’s imprisonment to his own parenthood of 10 children, Murphy turned on his Cosby voice to quip, “Who’s America’s dad now?”
(He apparently had a change of heart since “SNL’s” prime-time 40th anniversary special in 2015, when Murphy reportedly refused to revive that imitation in the thick of Cosby’s sexual assault scandal and instead gave a brief, humorless statement of gratitude.)
This was Murphy’s third time hosting, including a 1982 stint when he was a last-minute fill-in and became the only person to host while still in the “SNL” cast. After leaving the cast and hosting a second time in 1984, he began distancing himself from “SNL,” an estrangement fueled by a 1995 incident when David Spade, then in the cast, joked on air about Murphy’s sputtering film career and labeled him “a falling star.”