‘Law & Order: SVU’: Richard Belzer Returning As John Munch For A Special Case

Law & Order: SVU is bringing back an old character. Richard Belzer, who starred as John Munch, will be coming back to the NBC police drama. However, fans shouldn’t get too excited. It turns out the former detective will be appearing in just one episode to help out with a special case.

Belzer’s last main appearance was in Season 15, Episode 5, titled “Wonderland Story.” The entire Special Victims Unit gathered together for Munch’s retirement party. Of course, John couldn’t “fully” retire. Instead, he went to work in the DA Investigation Unit. As with all episodes of SVU, Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and her squad had to deal with a sex crime. Benson had to leave the retirement party early to talk to a victim and work on the troubling case.

Even though “Wonderland Story” was supposed to be Munch’s retirement party, the character was seen once again in Season 15, during the episode “Spring Awakening.” However, that was the last time viewers saw Belzer on Law & Order: SVU.


Back in 2013, CNN reported that fans should expect to see Richard Belzer again. The news outlet wrote that the actor would have a few cameo appearances in future episodes of Law & Order: SVU. The website also stated that the character of John Munch might be seen in a “crossover opportunity down the road.”

John Munch was an interesting character. Unlike other actors, the character was formed long before SVU. The role was created in January 1993 for Homicide: Life on the Street. Even though that television show was canceled, Belzer was cast as Detective Munch in SVU as well as other Law & Order spin-offs. The character also appeared as a guest appearance on several other TV shows, including The X-Files. As CNN reported, Richard has played the character for over two decades. It makes John Munch one of the longest running television characters in history.

Entertainment Weekly reported the news of Belzer returning to Law & Order: SVU. Munch will return in May for an episode titled “Fashionable Crimes.” The detectives will be investigating a young model’s claims of being preyed upon by a famous fashion house photographer. The reason he returns is because John Munch and Fin Tutuola (Ice-T) have suspected the photographer of wrongdoing in the past. However, they were never able to build a case against him. At least, until the young model came forward.


“We love having Richard back on set,” executive producer Warren Leight told EW. “This episode was perfect for Munch’s cynical eye, and just the right time for him to give Benson and Noah some much-needed support.”

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Ice-T recently spoke about his absence from the last episode of SVU. “Manhattan Transfer” was an emotional episode for viewers. Robert John Burke’s character, Ed Tucker, was being investigated by Internal Affairs. Due to Benson’s personal link to Tucker, Olivia was transferred out of the Special Victims Unit. When the series returns on Wednesday, Fin will wonder why Benson is gone and Mike Dodds (Andy Karl) is in her office. However, the actor assured fans that Mariska Hargitay is still part of the show. The situation will work itself out and even though Benson was transferred, she will still have scenes in the long-running police drama. In fact, her next appearance will be in Season 17, Episode 18, titled “Unholiest Alliance.” A sneak peek clip shows Benson warning Tucker that someone may be after him. Apparently, Sister Nina calls Olivia, but after the conversation, Nina mysteriously disappears.

What do you think of Richard Belzer returning as John Munch? Are you looking forward to seeing the character come back to Law & Order: SVU?

[Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images]