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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 24 December 2019 at 9:03am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I remember watching his last appearance live, for Christmas 1984. So this was a big deal for me, too.
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 24 December 2019 at 12:24pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Cosby used to tell Eddie not to curse or say offensive things on stage and wasn't particularly nice towards him.

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Which I never understood, because as far as I know, he never said this to Richard Pryor, who -- of course -- was cursing in his stand-up long before Murphy.

I was a bit wary of SNL bringing the old Eddie characters back, but Gumby was hilarious. ("I SMOKE the cigar." Timing is everything in comedy, folks.) I'd forgotten how "Yiddish" he was. 

Mr. Robinson worked. Velvet Jones...not really. Buckwheat only worked when he started speaking perfect Spanish, which of course none of us expected.

The #SantaKnew sketch had me laughing. The pre-recorded Xmas family sketch did too. (All hail Maya Rudolph, who should be America's Favorite Mom.) The cake competition...it was OK. "Why is anything brown?" -- that was brilliant. 

And Jost and Che telling each other's jokes was as hilarious as usual. Small note -- that was the first time in years I've heard the word "homeboy." It was an '80s night.

Missed opportunity: Jay Pharoah showing up and doing his perfect Eddie Murphy impression in front of Eddie, and then Eddie getting mock-angry and yelling "GET THE HELL OFF MY STAGE!!" or something similar. 

I'm glad it's been long enough that Tracy Morgan can laugh about getting hit by a truck. Wasn't funny at all at the time. 
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Jabari Lamar
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Posted: 24 December 2019 at 12:47pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

First, I believe Cosby had come after Pryor (who initially started off as a very Cosby-ish "clean" comedian) early on, although they become friendly later. I know Pryor's widow heavily criticized Cosby for his actions. But it tended to be the younger Black comedians who came after him that Cosby went after. Jamie Foxx and some others have talked about getting similar calls from Cosby ranting about their acts years ago. That's what got the allegations in the spotlight, as it was comedian Hannibal Burress who got tired of Cosby's criticism and started bringing up his rape-history on stage.

Anyway, I definitely watched with baited breath, wanting to see if Eddie still "got it." I know he'd said before that the prospect of returning to stand-up sort of scared him, which is why it's taken so long even though it seems like for the past decade he'd been talking about doing it again "soon." As he'd noted, at this stage in his career he hasn't been a stand-up comedian for way long than he has been. His stand-up career, including SNL, is a relatively small part of his career, yet based on those 4 years and his 2 comedy specials, people list him alongside his idols, like Richard Pryor and George Carlin, as one of the greatest ever, so there was that fear that if he comes back and isn't quite as good as people remember then that could ruin his comedic legacy. Especially when so much of his classic material was so non-PC and couldn't likely work today. Yet he did it!

I liked the whole show, even the "worst" bits were still moderately amusing enough to watch. I understood that they felt that they had to get as many of his classic bits back, but also couldn't just do all old bits (I kinda wish Velvet Jones had been replaced by a James Brown sketch), but my favorite one of the night was Santa's elves. "Listen to this sexy-ass elf" was definitely add-lipped.

And I was impressed with Lizzo's performances, I wasn't into her either but I thought she rocked it out. But I know I'm not in her target audience anyway, she's a young Millennial/Gen Z artist, as Chris Rock joked that he was there that night because his kids love Lizzo, and I can see why they enjoy her.


Edited by Jabari Lamar on 24 December 2019 at 12:48pm
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 24 December 2019 at 12:51pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

" Buckwheat only worked when he started speaking perfect Spanish, which of course none of us expected."

--

I didn't even catch that at first, but when I replayed it for my fiancé, she picked up on that immediately. Just the kind of absurdity that I love.

Buckwheat as The Masked Singer was a great idea, but outside of what you pointed out above, not executed as well as it could have been. I felt like it would have worked better had the judges not spoiled who was under the the corn, because personally I didn't know until they said so. Plus it felt a bit too meta about how the judges were gushing over Buckwheat, which felt like a bit over-the-top overture to Murphy, himself.
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 24 December 2019 at 1:25pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I kinda wish Velvet Jones had been replaced by a James Brown sketch

***

I don't know how that would've worked since James Brown has been dead for a while now. Yes, it could've been set in the past, but...I still don't know what could've made it work.
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Greg McPhee
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Posted: 24 December 2019 at 5:38pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Gumby made it for me. Just hilarious.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 24 December 2019 at 8:52pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I felt the Buckwheat was worse than the Velvet Jones. Buckwheat singing was a rehash of one sketch he did back in the old days. He did a lot of different stuff with the character back then and he could’ve done something different with it in this episode. 
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 24 December 2019 at 10:28pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I never liked Velvet Jones, and it seemed to me that they didn't rehearse the skit enough before doing it live.

And I somewhat agree with you, Mr. Miller. But other than `Buckwheat has been shot!', the singing is what most fans probably remember the most.



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Brian Miller
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Posted: 25 December 2019 at 8:36am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Oh, I don't disagree. It just felt like the easy way out and, to me, was lesser for it. 
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Tim O Neill
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Posted: 25 December 2019 at 9:30am | IP Logged | 10 post reply



I usually watch SNL via DVR so I can skip the commercials, but I was on the
east coast for the Eddie Murphy episode at my family's house, so I watched it
the way I grew up watching it - live from New York, with commercials and all.

I loved every bit of it. More than nostalgia, Eddie Murphy still has every bit of
his comic timing and energy. While it was great to see him bring familiar
characters back, the last sketch was the high point for me. Murphy played an
elf talking to a reporter about an unfolding Santa workshop crisis, and he
showed how he can dominate a new sketch.

I also loved how he handled the cake baking contest, a stark contrast to the elf
sketch. He knows just when to go understated and when to go broad.

Looking forward to his return to stand up!


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Brian Miller
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Posted: 25 December 2019 at 10:42am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Me too, Tim. The wife understands that we WILL see one of his shows when he tours. Cost be damned!
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 25 December 2019 at 12:10pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I don't know how that would've worked since James Brown has been dead for a while now. Yes, it could've been set in the past, but...I still don't know what could've made it work.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Buckwheat was a real person, and has been dead since 1980.


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