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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 02: Eddie Murphy speaks onstage at the Celebration of Black Cinema at Landmark Annex on December 02, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for the Celebration of Black Cinema)

Last night, Eddie Murphy returned to the Saturday Night Live for the first time in 35 years (other than a brief cameo in an anniversary special). From his monologue to his revamping of some of his classic characters, he showed just why he is a SNL legend.

His opening monologue showed his titanic influence among — as if anyone had forgotten. He was joined by fellow SNL alumni Tracy Morgan and Chris Rock, as well as Dave Chapelle and current (and longest-running cast member) Keenan Thompson. He noted that it was the last episode of 2019. “But if you’re black, it’s the first episode since I left in 1984.” He also took a shot at Bill Cosby, saying that if you told him back then that he’d be a boring stay at home dad with ten kids and Cosby would be in jail, “Even I would have taken that bet.” Mimicking Cosby, he said, “Who is America’s Dad now?”

Eddie Murphy Monologue - SNL

Eddie Murphy's monologue during his return to SNL after 35 years gets interrupted by Tracy Morgan, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle.

He brought back his “Mister Robinson” character for a new segment of Mister Robinson’s Neighborhood and took on gentrification.

Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood 2019 - SNL

Mr. Robinson returns to explain how a lot has changed since the last visit to his neighborhood.

Here, he played a contestant in a TV baking competition.

Holiday Baking Championship - SNL

Contestants (Eddie Murphy, Cecily Strong, Kyle Mooney, Heidi Gardner) on a baking competition show present their holiday-themed confections to judges (Aidy Bryant, Beck Bennett, Ego Nwodim).

He brought back his Velvet Jones character; he was a contestant on Black Jeopardy.

Black Jeopardy: Velvet Jones - SNL

Contestants Rashad (Chris Redd), Kiana (Ego Nwodim) and Mr. Velvet Jones (Eddie Murphy) compete on Black Jeopardy, hosted by Darnell Hayes (Kenan Thompson).

Two other characters that he brought back were Buckwheat, as a contestant for The Masked Singer (that skit hasn’t been posted to YouTube yet), and Gumby, who crashed Weekend Update.

Weekend Update: Gumby Returns - SNL

Gumby (Eddie Murphy) stops by Weekend Update to remind Michael Che and Colin Jost who he is, damn it.

He also played a disgruntled elf at Santa’s North Pole, explaining to a news crew about a polar bear rampage caused by global warming and Santa’s negligence.

North Pole News Report - SNL

A news report from the North Pole covers a horrific accident at Santa's workshop.

He also appeared in two skits that were cut for time. In “Holiday Gig,” he plays a keytar player performing at a Hanukkah party that keeps getting interrupted.

Cut for Time: Holiday Gig - SNL

A band's (Eddie Murphy, Kenan Thompson, Kyle Mooney) holiday performance is interrupted by internal squabbling.

 

Here, he cameos in a skit about cast member Aidy Bryant’s obsession with musical guest Lizzo.

Cut for Time: Aidy Bizzo & Lizzo - SNL

Aidy Bryant gets a big boost of self-confidence from Lizzo.

It was one of the best Saturday Night Live episodes in a long time; here’s hoping it won’t be another 35 years.