From his crowd-pleasing opening monologue to a demonic cake, Eddie Murphy’s brilliant return to Saturday Night Live was chock-full of all kinds of goodies. Of course, it wouldn’t have been a Murphy-centric episode of SNL without at least a few glimpses at some of his classic characters. Hence the evening’s lampooning of the hit FOX reality competition series The Masked Singer, in which celebrities from the B, C, and D lists disguise themselves in ridiculous getups to keep the judges guessing about their identities. Cue Murphy’s Buckwheat.
After opening with an unintelligible rendition of Styx’s “Come Sail Away,” Buckwheat reveals himself to the judges and the crowd’s delight. (Especially Kate McKinnon’s goofy turn as Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg.) He then launches into a medley of additional songs that, though musically recognizable, lose all sense of space, time, and understanding when translated by Buckwheat’s particular vernacular.
On the one hand, it’s insane because Buckwheat can carry a tune but just can’t seem to sing or say anything that anyone would understand. On the other hand, it’s a rather brilliant way by which to re-introduce the character — especially to younger SNL audience who might not be familiar with Murphy’s tenure at the show. The Masked Singer is a huge phenomenon at the moment, so why not put Buckwheat on as a contestant and see how he does?