February 20, 2015

The SNL 40 special last weekend was supposed to have Eddie Murphy playing Bill Cosby during the “Celebrity Jeopardy” sketch. Former cast member Norm Macdonald took to Twitter on Wednesday (February 18th) to offer some insight to why it didn’t happen.

Eddie Murphy SNL40

Norm wrote, “Without Will’s perfect take on Trebek, maddened by the outright hostility of Connery, the faraway uninterest of Burt, the sketch is nothing. At the end of the sketch, Darrel would choose potent potables. Home base 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.” MacDonald went on to explain how director Brett Ratner was involved by posting, “So, the talks were underway. “Brett says Eddie doesn’t feel comfortable”, “Eddie says ‘maybe it’s ok since he’s doing pre-allegation Cosby’ And on and on it went. I had not spoken to Eddie or @BrettRatner. I was dead sure Eddie would do it. Most others were not. We talk in his dressing room a good hour. When it’s over, I’m convinced he’ll do it. He doesn’t.”

Norm continued, “He knew the laughs would bring the house down. Eddie Murphy knows what will work on SNL better than anyone. 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.”

Cosby reacted to the news in a statement through a spokesperson saying, “I am very appreciative of Eddie and I applaud his actions.”