Eddie Murphy’s First Onstage Joke In Nearly 30 Years Was About Bill Cosby

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Eddie Murphy refused to play Bill Cosby during SNL 40 because “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.” He added, “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.'” Murphy, however, had no such reservations impersonating Cosby over the weekend when he accepted the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

Previous recipients include Lily Tomlin, Billy Crystal, and Tina Fey, who memorably mocked The Cosby Show creator and overall terrible human being during the Golden Globes. For his part, Murphy joked, “Bill has one of these. Did y’all make Bill give his back? No, because I know there was a big outcry from people. They was trying to get Bill to give his trophies back. You know you f*cked up when they want you to give your trophies back.”

“He should do one show where he just comes out and he just talks crazy now,” Murphy continued. He then slipped into a scorching Cosby impression that’ll be familiar to anyone who’s seen his 1987 standup film, Eddie Murphy Raw: “I would like to talk to some of the people who feel like I should give back my motherf*ckin’ trophies!” (Via)

It was Murphy’s first time telling jokes onstage since 1987, when Bowfinger was a dream, not a reality. The special will air on November 23 on PBS. (Via Mashable)

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