Eddie Murphy ‘SNL 40’ Debacle Explained: Actor Talks Failed Bill Cosby Skit

October 19, 2015 | By Garrett Montgomery More

Eddie Murphy explained why he declined to do an SNL sketch about Bill Cosby by saying that the situation is not funny. Murphy, who had often portrayed the disgraced comedian in the 1980s, claimed that the Saturday Night Live sketch would have been hurtful to all parties involved in the sex scandal.

Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy and the SNL skit that never was are the subjects of a new interview done by The Washington Post. In February, countless celebrities who got their start on Saturday Night Live appeared on the show’s 40th anniversary special.

The event had many skits including the revival of the classic ones adored by fans. However, the major headline from the event was Eddie Murphy’s appearance, which lasted few seconds. Fans were baffled as to why the comedian, who is famous for playing multiple characters in almost all of his movies, did not take part in any of the sketches.

Immediately after Murphy’s bizarre appearance, stand-up comedian, writer and producer Norm Macdonald took to Twitter where he explained that he had written a skit for Eddie Murphy where he was supposed to impersonate fallen comedian Bill Cosby like he used to do in the 1980s.

First, the 48 Hrs. star agreed to the skit, later changed his mind and after several back and forth exchanges, Murphy removed himself from the project. Macdonald, who is famous for being one of the first major anchors of Saturday Night Live‘s “Weekend Update,” wrote:

“When it’s over, I’m convinced he’ll do it. He doesn’t.”

Macdonald added:

“He knew the laughs would bring the house down, he knows what will work on SNL better than anyone, but he decided that the laughs are not worth it. He will not kick a man when he is down. Eddie Murphy, I realize, is not like the rest of us. Eddie does not need the laughs.”

Kenan Thompson was asked to play Cosby after the Murphy debacle. Cosby, who has been accused of rape, molestation or harassment by more than 50 women, was pleased with Murphy’s actions and issued a statement thanking the father of six. Cosby stated:

“I am very appreciative of Eddie and I applaud his actions.”

In a lengthy interview with The Washington Post, the Coming to America and Dr. Dolittle actor said he skipped that sketch because it was wrong. He shared:

“I totally understood. It was the biggest thing in the news at the time. I can see why they thought it would be funny, and the sketch that Norm [Macdonald] wrote was hysterical.”

Murphy said he was unable to joke about such a sensitive matter and added:

“It’s horrible.There’s nothing funny about it. If you get up there and you crack jokes about him, you’re just hurting people. You’re hurting him. You’re hurting his accusers. I was like, ‘Hey, I’m coming back to ‘SNL’ for the anniversary, I’m not turning my moment on the show into this other thing.’ “

The Best Defense actor’s move to help Cosby surprised his fans because at the beginning of his career he was slammed by the disgraced TV father for using cuss words on stage. The late Richard Pryor came to Murphy’s rescue by telling Cosby to smile, drink some Coke Cola and shut the F— up.

What are your thoughts on Eddie Murphy’s SNL debacle?

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    Comments (6)

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    1. sally says:

      Why is Murphy defending this rapist? 50 women, that is 49 too many if you ask me.
      Cosby needs to tell the truth.

      • Van says:

        He is not defending him…he was just saying that it was not worth it to joke about something that is still so raw right now. It affects everyone that is involved. The article says it but people take what they want out of it and skip the true meaning of a statement.

      • Matt says:

        No….its 50 women too many.

    2. Jeanne Giunta says:

      Eddie is right and as so demonstrates a model of a strong mentally healthy choice. What are we willing to give up for money? It would be equivalent to making fun of innocent people who lost limbs in bombings. It’s not funny. It’s sad. Cosby’s actions are a result of mental illness. Anyone in their right mind would not have gone there in the same way that mentally healthy people don’t shoot up schools. We can choose to deal with it or not. Either way, we will, we are dealing with it!

    3. Doug says:

      Disgusting, Just imagine if that was a white comedian doing that to black woman, the riots, looting, etc that would be going on.

    4. Mrs. Jean Scott says:

      Raw? Now that’s funny. Women have been dealing with all that since the seventies when he started this pattern of weirdness.

      No, what’s painful is how the media put his photo up, time and time again, within the same proximity as this or that woman as she speaks out. That’s what’s painful.

      I’m going to say something my Dad used to say, and I never thought I’d say it; “Gee you kids are dumb.”

      if you think a good old SNL skit is going to bring pain, now, after decades of denial, months of back and forth, did you SEE the Cosby trolls on twitter? I sure did, and you think a little ol sanitized SKIT is going to hurt?

      Gee you kids are dumb.


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