Eddie Murphy’s return to Saturday Night Live has fans hoping he will go back in time. The actor and comedian will return to Studio 8H for his first hosting gig in 35 years, and he has already teased that he hopes to resurrect some of his most famous characters from his SNL heyday. But Murphy’s former SNL sidekick thinks at least one character needs to stay buried in the past.
Murphy’s exaggerated version of The Little Rascals character, Buckwheat, may not be acceptable to today’s audiences, points out Murphy’s former SNL co-star Joe Piscopo.
“This is Eddie’s weekend,” Piscopo told Fox News. “I wish him all the best, it’s going to be great because does he do Buckwheat? How politically incorrect is that?… I don’t know how he can possibly do Buckwheat.”
Piscopo added that he can’t wait to see how far his former sidekick “pushes the envelope” during his SNL hosting gig.
Murphy, in addition to Buckwheat, is also known for his inner-city Mr. Rogers parody Mr. Robinson, as well as Claymation kiddie TV character Gumby. He told The Today show he is up for anything when he returns to Saturday Night Live, and he even teased the possibility of a Buckwheat revival.
“Usually we’ll do characters that were popular,” Murphy told Today of his SNL return.“We’ve been talking about different things, talking about a Gumby thing, talking about a Buckwheat thing and talking about a Bill Cosby thing.”
And Murphy previously told late-night host Jimmy Kimmel that if he had any say in it, he would revive Buckwheat.
“I’m gonna do Gumby,” Murphy said of his SNL return earlier this year. “And I’m trying to figure out some reason to do Velvet Jones. And, uh, Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood. And a funny Buckwheat sketch.”
While fans await the reveal of Murphy’s revived SNL characters, they should know that Piscopo won’t be sharing scenes with him. Back in the day, Murphy and Piscopo were regularly featured together on Saturday Night Live as they parodied Stevie Wonder and Frank Sinatra. However, fans probably won’t see them back together this time because Piscopo says he wasn’t invited to the show for Murphy’s return. The comic added he didn’t even get a call to sit in the audience.
While Piscopo probably won’t be making an appearance, an SNL insider told Page Six that other comics and Saturday Night Live alums have been trying to score cameos alongside Murphy for this week. This insider said “everyone” — including Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, and SNL alum Ellen Cleghorne — wants a cameo and that Rock and Chappelle have been “hanging out at ‘SNL’ all week.”
Eddie Murphy returns to Saturday Night Live on December 21 at 11:30 p.m. on NBC.