Eddie Murphy spent most of his first SNL stint in 35 years playing the hits: Mr. Robinson, Buckwheat, Gumby, even Velvet Jones. He still found room for some originals. The night only had one pre-taped segment, but it mirrored the one from last year’s holiday episode, in which host Matt Damon ruined Christmas dinner by starting a fight over…Weezer.
The family in this sketch at least keep up the pleasant façade. Murphy’s patriarch stands up to toast the family hunkering together for the holidays, offering sentimental platitudes and tributes to each member — from wife Maya Rudolph (who’d swung by for the cold open to play Kamala Harris) to aging gramps Keenan Thompson to soon-to-be (white) son-in-law Mikey Day.
Flashbacks tell a different story. As Murphy waxes poetic about each person, we cut to scenes of fighting, irritation, and general tension. His picture perfect marriage to Rudolph? Definitely not picture perfect. They tell grandpa his medical issues aren’t a nuisance. But they really are. And maybe dad’s not as chill about his daughter marrying a white man than his warm toast lets on.
So, as some of us embark on extended holiday jaunts, spending time with relatives who may not 100% agree with our takes on, let’s say, the sitting president’s recent impeachment, take cold comfort in this sketch. We, too, may have to grin through a toast riddled with lies, but at least we’re all going through it together.