Eddie Murphy SNL Reunion Absence Explained: Actor Said No To Bill Cosby SNL Reunion Skit

February 19, 2015 | By Garrett Montgomery More

Eddie Murphy’s SNL Reunion appearance after a 30-year absence failed to deliver. In a series of tweets, actor and writer Norm Macdonald, has revealed that Eddie Murphy was set to play Bill Cosby at the “SNL 40” Reunion, but declined because he did not want to kick someone who was already down.

Eddie Murphy SNL reunion absence

Eddie Murphy’s appearance at SNL reunion after a 30-year absence was very brief and confusing. Legendary comedian Eddie Murphy appeared at the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Celebration on Sunday and confusion ensued.

It was more than 30 years since Murphy took the stage on SNL, so fans were thrilled to see him back. Eddie Murphy dressed in an elegant blue suit, left everyone disappointed by having a short monologue that lasted 70 seconds, where he thanked the creators of SNL for having him on.

Canadian actor Norman Gene “Norm” Macdonald, who was a writer and a cast member of SNL for five seasons, took to Twitter for a long series of tweets, where he explained why Murphy’s appearance was so brief.

The Canadian stand-up comedian and producer explained that when Eddie Murphy agreed to take part in the SNL reunion show, he was asked to play fallen star Bill Cosby who is embroiled in an epic sex scandal.

The plan was to have Murphy impersonate Bill Cosby in the star-studded “Celebrity Jeopardy” sketch that would feature MacDonald in the role of Burt Reynolds, Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery, with Will Ferrell as the game show’s host, Alex Trebek.

Macdonald tweeted that SNL Reunion show was supposed to focus in part on Eddie Murphy’s accomplishments:

“Among many other things, this show was to be the return of Eddie Murphy. Murphy, the man who, in Lorne’s absence, kept the show alive. Singlehandedly.To every comedian who ever performed on SNL, what Eddie accomplished was unthinkable. Every Saturday Night at 11:30 Eddie Murphy, a kid, would fill 90 minutes with comedy. Impossible. The last anniversary was the 25th. Eddie did not attend due to a remark by David Spade. David is a very kind man, but his remark was not. So Eddie never came back. Until last week.”

The writers pitched Murphy the following idea for the Bill Cosby skit:

“A video daily double. The category would be Potent Potables, a common one on Jeopardy, but one we somehow had never done. And the idea was that it would be a bar set. And the idea was that Cosby would be mixing a drink in a video that was taped 6 months ago. It was perfect. It was all Steve Higgins idea. At the end of the sketch, Darrel would choose potent potables. Homebase would be dressed as a bar. The iconic doors would open and on to home base would step Eddie Murphy. The audience would know what to do. Why is Eddie wearing a multi-colored sweater? He steps behind the bar, begins mixing a drink. The audience covers the fact he has not spoken. When he speaks, he is Cosby. Eddie Murphy doing a perfect Cosby impression. The audience does not let him finish. The sketch ends. The show, for all intents, ends. All the impressions are forgiven.”

Murphy didn’t feel comfortable impersonating Cosby, but after Brett Ratner, spoke to him, he changed his mind. But one hour into rehearsal, Murphy explained that he no longer wanted to take part in the skit because it would be like kicking an old man who is already down.

Kenan Thompson was picked to play the part of Bill Cosby. Eddie Murphy’s SNL reunion appearance did not deliver after such long absence. What are your your thoughts on Murphy’s move?

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  1. Dave says:

    Class act by Mr. Murphy.


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