Moments after returning to “Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood,” Saturday Night Live host Eddie Murphy slipped back into Buckwheat’s suspenders, reprising that beloved role more than four decades after he last assumed the part.
In the 2019-set sketch, the Little Rascals character was a contestant on The Masked Singer, dressed as Corn on the Cob. Alas, after just a few bars of “Pawnin in Nub” (“Can’t Help Falling in Love”), he was correctly identified by judge Robin Thicke (Beck Bennett).
But before he was ushered off stage, Buckwheat served up a few other of his uniquely intonated ditties, including “Dine, Teal, Dawibba” (Signed, Sealed, Delivered”), “I Chot Da Chariff,” “Aneese Nameena” (“Feliz Navidad”), “R-E-S-P-T-T-D” and “Tinga Nadies” (“Single Ladies”).
The return of Buckwheat marked a true revival of sorts: The character was previously “killed off” in a sketch that parodied news coverage of the attempted assassination of President Reagan:
Murphy was an SNL cast member from 1980 to 1984. He was first brought on as a featured player for Season 6, then promoted to repertory status ahead of Season 7. He was just 19 years old when he got his start. At the time, that made him the youngest hire in SNL history.
During his four-season stint, Murphy popularized some of SNL‘s most beloved characters — including, but not limited to: Gumby, Mister Robinson and, of course, Buckwheat. To this day, he is the only cast member to have hosted the show while he was still a regular (after his 48 Hrs. costar Nick Nolte called out sick in the fall of 1982). He last presided over the program on Dec. 15, 1984, but returned to Studio 8H as recently as 2015 (for a brief appearance during the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special).
Check back for “Masked Buckwheat” video later, then grade Murphy’s SNL homecoming below.