SNL Stars Choose The Same Legendary Cast Member As The Best

Kenan Thompson, Heidi Gardner, and Ego Nwodim have chosen Eddie Murphy as having the best SNL skits ever.

By Britta DeVore | Updated

eddie murphy best snl

The results are in. The Hollywood Reporter quizzed current members of the weekly comedy show Saturday Night Live on who their favorite past performers and skits were, and while many threw out names like Dana Carvey, Will Ferrell, and Mike Myers, three cast mates had the same answer. Kenan Thompson, Heidi Gardner, and Ego Nwodim all revealed that Eddie Murphy was their hero and the best of the best when it came to SNL and that the “James Brown’s Celebrity Hot Tub Party” and “Mister Robinson’s Neighborhood” sketches have aged like fine wine. 

Both Kenan Thompson and Heidi Gardner agreed that Eddie Murphy’s best SNL skit was “James Brown’s Celebrity Hot Tub Party,” while Ego Nwodim shared her belief that “Mister Robinson’s Neighborhood” was peak Murphy. In both clips, the legendary comedian does his finest spoofs of two pop-culture icons. Cementing himself in the show’s history as one of its best castings, Eddie Murphy’s impression of James Brown and satirical jab at Mister Rogers are just two of his better pieces of work.

In “James Brown’s Celebrity Hot Tub Party,” the Coming to America star masterfully impersonates the Godfather of Soul down to performing a parody song about the hot tub he’s diving in to relax in – complete with some groovin’ moves. Murphy’s take on the celebrated musician is only made better by the robe he continues to slip in and out of while he makes his way to the bubbling water. Although we don’t technically see any celebrities join Eddie Murphy’s James Brown in the hot tub, it’s understandable why both Kenan Thompson and Heidi Gardner said that this was the best SNL sketch of all time.

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In a twist on the 31-season-running children’s show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, “Mister Robinson’s Neighborhood,” introduced Eddie Murphy as the titular host living in a rougher neighborhood than that of his PBS counterpart. While he sings about being a neighbor and dons a yellow sweater, the parallels between Mister Robinson and Mister Rogers end there, as we soon come to find out that Mister Robinson has stolen the dog that he introduces to us at the top of the bit. With the word of the day being “ransom,” it’s obvious why Ego Nwodim has a special place in her heart for what she believes to be Eddie Murphy’s best SNL performance.

While the three current cast members hold on tightly to their opinions that these Eddie Murphy moments were the best of SNL, the Beverly Hills Cop and Shrek star managed to wrangle a slew of other memorable and quotable lines over his four years on the show. Lest we forget his Gumby bit and other incredible characters like Velvet Jones, or even his stab at The Little Rascals’ Buckwheat. Not even Stevie Wonder was safe from Murphy’s precise impressions and comedic ability. 

It’s been decades since Eddie Murphy appeared regularly on the weekly NBC program, but obviously, the star has left a legacy, with a trio of his predecessors believing that he was the best that SNL has ever seen. Up next, Netflix subscribers can catch the comedian opposite Jonah Hill in the upcoming film You People which is set to begin streaming on January 27, 2023. After that, he’ll appear in the highly anticipated fourth installment of Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley.