There are many stereotypes that were prevalent within periods of U.S. History, which have survived into the modern era. These racist views can be highly damaging to the population that they are directed towards. Eddie Murphy in this skit shows an exaggerated version of a stereotype for comedic effect.
In this skit Eddie Murphy parodies Mr. Rodgers as done by a poor African American man. The setting is Mr. Robinson’s apartment in a poor neighborhood. This is gathered by the decayed state of apartment, the wallpaper is peeling and the paint is faded. He uses poor grammar and bad language in order to make a point about the stereotypes of African Americans. He is poor which is another part of the stereotype he is trying to parody.
When the white landlord comes to the door it presents a portrayal of the stereotypical white man. He is well dressed and has no compassion as he blows cigar smoke in his face and yells at him. He’s greedy as evidenced by his displays of wealth and his harsh treatment of Mr. Robinson.
When he does the puppet show he shows the African American population talking to the white president. The president puppet’s back is turned the entire time and he is completely apathetic to their needs. The questions they ask are related to government support which they receive which is another part of the stereotype.
This skit’s exaggeration of a stereotype serves as a commentary on its ridiculousness. The stereotype portrayed may be a variation of the racist views that became prevalent during the reconstruction era.