Recurring Saturday Night Live characters and sketches introduced 1981–1982
Tyrone Green, Prose and Cons
An Eddie Murphy sketch. Debuted October 3, 1981.
The Our Gang character of Buckwheat, portrayed as an adult by Eddie Murphy, sang current hits in garbled speech. His first appearance, on October 10, 1981, was in a commercial parody for an album titled, Buh-Weet Sings. Right before each song, subtitles on the screen would list the name, spelled phonetically exactly as Buckwheat would say it (example: Looking for Love became Wookin' Pa Nub and Three Times a Lady became Fee Tines a Mady). One song, Bette Davis Eyes is so poorly pronounced that the superimposed title is "???". Those who wanted to purchase the album were instructed to send money to "Bah Firty Fee, New Nork, New Nork".
The character was also the central focus of a series of sketches called "Who Shot Buckwheat?", which parodied the then-recent TV coverage of assassinations and attempted assassinations of public figures, such as the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan and the murder of John Lennon, as well as the "Who Shot J.R.?" storyline on the television series "Dallas."
A Robin Duke sketch. Debuted October 10, 1981.
Eddie Murphy is an entrepreneurial pimp. Debuted October 17, 1981.
A Tony Rosato sketch. Debuted October 31, 1981.
Pudge & Solomon
Dr. Jack Badofsky
Dr. Jack Badofsky was played by Tim Kazurinsky in a series of appearances on SNL Newsbreak or Saturday Night News (the monikers for Weekend Update during the Ebersol years). The doctor would inform the audience about different strains of diseases like influenza or rabies, and each strain would be a rhyming pun (i.e. "Should you be bitten by an ownerless dog, that’s Straybies, and a foaming French poodle can give you Qu'est-ce Que-C'estbies"). Badofsky stuttered in a timid, wavering tone, suggesting the sort of "ultra uptight" and extremely introverted character he was supposed to be, when thrust into the spotlight. There is, indeed, a real Jack Badofsky. He collaborated with Kazurinsky in writing the sketches and—as a nod to Badofsky—Kazurinsky named the character after him. At the time, Badofsky headed up Smith, Badofsky & Raffel, a Chicago ad agency known for Badofsky's humorous radio commercials. Badofsky also has written many essays and humor for newspapers and magazines as well a material performed on the stage and TV. Debuted March 20, 1982.
Eddie Murphy impersonates the green clay character Gumby. Debuted March 27, 1982. This was the origin of the catch-phrase "I'm Gumby, dammit!", which has been called one of the show's "best catchphrases".
Joe Piscopo, playing Doug Whiner, and Robin Duke, playing Wendy Whiner, speak all their lines in a whining, nasal tone, hence, a double meaning of their name. They both claim to suffer from diverticulitis, and neither eats anything but macaroni and cheese.
In 1998, writer Stanley Ribbles, in a Turner-Allan magazine article, said this of "The Whiners":
|“||We weren't thinking, 'Hey, let's make characters that our audience is going to despise.' But we did like Joe [Piscopo] a lot for some reason, and we wanted to give him more air-time.... At the end of the night, you have the options of staying up or going to bed. We had a glass of milk and watched television.||”|
- "Whiners Anniversary" April 10, 1982 host: Daniel J. Travanti
- "The Whiners on a Plane" May 15, 1982 host: Danny DeVito
- "The Whiners at the Doctor" October 9, 1982 host: Ron Howard
- "Whiners Adoption" November 20, 1982 host: Drew Barrymore
- "The Whiners Taken Hostage" January 29, 1983 hosts: Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas
- "The Whiners in the Hospital" February 5, 1983 host: Sid Caesar
- "The Whiners at SNL" April 9, 1983 host: Joan Rivers
- "Whiner in the War" May 14, 1983 host: Ed Koch
- "Whiner Show Ideas" October 8, 1983 host: Brandon Tartikoff
- "2 On The Town" May 5, 1984 host: Barry Bostwick