Actor and comedian Bill Cosby is sending messages of gratitude to iconic comedian Eddie Murphy after it was revealed he turned down the opportunity to portray Cosby in a skit for Saturday Night Live’s 40th anniversary special.
Fans of Murphy were disappointed when he finally returned to the SNL stage after more than 30 years only to thank the crowd for a few seconds and never appear again at any time later in the show.
Now it turns out that Murphy’s absence throughout the rest of Sunday’s show wasn’t necessarily about bad blood with producers or not being in a joking mood. Instead, one former cast member claimed that Murphy refused to take the chance to take a shot at Cosby in the midst of a string of sexual assault allegations aimed at the legendary TV dad.
Once Cosby discovered Murphy refused to take part in the skit, he released a statement through a spokesperson saying, “I am very appreciative of Eddie and I applaud his actions.”
Former SNL cast member and comedian Norm Macdonald took to Twitter to explain that situation with the help of about 100 tweets.
All of the tweets not only praised Murphy for his presence, charisma and talent as a comedian, but they also praised him for deciding not to “kick a man when he is down.”
According to Macdonald’s string of tweets, SNL 40’s “Jeopardy” skit was supposed to include an appearance by Murphy portraying Cosby in a quick clip for the Video Daily Double.
The Video Daily Double question would turn out to be a question about “Favorite Cocktails.”
Murphy would immediately launch his impersonation of the Cosby Show star before the show’s faux Alex Trebek rushes to cut the clip short.
Since Murphy declined the offer, SNL’s Kenan Thompson played the part instead.
Laughs that Macdonald said Murphy didn’t need even if he knew how funny the skit would turn out to be.
“He knew the laughs would bring the house down,” Macdonald said in a series of tweets. “Eddie Murphy knows what will work on SNL better than any one. Eddie decides the laughs are not worth it. He will not kick a man when he is down.”
Macdonald also revealed that he personally tried to convince Murphy to do the skit, but that’s when he says he learned something new about the award-winning actor.
“Eddie Murphy, I realize, is not like the rest of us,” Macdonald continues. “Eddie does not need the laughs.”