UPDATED Thursday, February 19, 2015, 4:25 p.m., EST-
Bill Cosby said he approves of Eddie Murphy’s reported decision not to play him on the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary special, according to NBC News. “I am very appreciative of Eddie and I applaud his actions,” the embattled comedian said through a spokesman.
Legendary funnyman, Eddie Murphy (pictured left) reportedly did not find it funny when he was asked to impersonate the now controversial performer, Bill Cosby in a “Jeopardy” skit that was part of the 40th year anniversary celebration for the popular TV variety show, “Saturday Night Live.”
Murphy made a 73-second cameo on the NBC network extravaganza that aired last Sunday night to a viewing audience of about 23 million. Comedian Norm Macdonald, took to Twitter to spill about Murphy and the special.
Macdonald had originally created the quiz show skit, “Jeopardy” for “SNL,” when he was a regular cast member, and he rewrote Sunday’s sketch to feature star-studded players—Macdonald reprised his role as Burt Reynolds, Darrell Hammond was Sean Connery, and Will Ferrell was the game show’s host, Alex Trebek. Murphy reportedly turned down the offer to portray Cosby the night before the show’s telecast. The Cosby role was eventually portrayed by current “SNL” player Kenan Thompson.
Apparently Murphy does not believe in kicking a man while he’s down and refused to take a dig at Cosby, who is facing a slew of allegations from women who claim he drugged and sexually assaulted them, many of which took place decades back in time.
Macdonald claims that he tried for an hour to convince the 53-year-old Murphy to take part in the sketch but said Murphy would not budge —even after Macdonald showered him with adulation.
Murphy has not appeared on “SNL” since 1984, not even for a hosting gig. He did not participate in the show’s 25th anniversary special because of a skit that aired on the program, where he was mentioned as a “fallen star,” which put the kibosh on his relationship with executives on the show.
As Chris Rock noted in his introduction of Murphy on “SNL 40,” Murphy’s comedic genius breathed life again into “SNL” during the early 80s and, according to Macdonald, it was “Eddie, the man who, in Lorne’s absence, kept the show alive. Singlehandedly…Every Saturday Night at 11:30 Eddie Murphy, a kid, would fill 90 minutes with comedy. Impossible.”
Comic David Spade appeared on a Weekend Update segment of “SNL” in the 90s and, according to Macdonald, said, “Look children, a falling star,” as Murphy’s image was displayed in the background. Word got back to Murphy who saw red after hearing what Spade said about him. “David is a very kind man,” said Macdonald, “but his remark was not.”
After being introduced by actor/comedian Chris Rock (pictured right), Murphy, looking quite dapper in a blue suit, took the higher road for the special and instead, opted to briefly address the audience telling them how happy he was to once again grace the “SNL” stage.
“Eddie Murphy, I realize, is not like the rest of us. Eddie does not need the laughs. Eddie Murphy is the coolest, a rockstar even in a room with actual rockstars, Macdonald said on his Twitter site….
…And we agree!