Proving no good deed goes unpunished, embattled comedian Bill Cosby “applauded” Eddie Murphy for reportedly declining to play him during the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary event.
During Sunday night’s Celebrity Jeopardy sketch, Kenan Thompson popped up as Bill Cosby in a video clip of him mixing a drink and introducing a clue. Will Ferrell’s Alex Trebek hurriedly ended the clip, saying they filmed it last summer — before Bill was accused of sexually assaulting 38 women.
The bit got quite a few laughs from the audience, as writer Norm Macdonald later said he expected it would. But, the really interesting part is that Norm revealed they wanted Eddie to play Bill in the scene. Here’s how he envisioned it would unfold…
“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,” Norm said on Twitter on Wednesday. “When he speaks, he is Cosby. Eddie Murphy doing a perfect Cosby impression. The audience does not let him finish. The sketch ends.”
Although they had it all planned out, Norm said Eddie passed on it.
“He knew the laughs would bring the house down. Eddie Murphy knows what will work on SNL better than any one,” Norm added. “Eddie decides 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… Eddie Murphy is the coolest, a rockstar even in a room with actual rockstars.”
Speaking today, Bill Cosby said Eddie’s decision was not going unnoticed by him.
“I am very appreciative of Eddie and I applaud his actions,” Bill said through a representative.
Really, though, the better gesture probably would have been for Bill to take a cue from Eddie and keep quiet. I don’t think his support is very welcome these days.