Nearly five years ago, Eddie Murphy briefly returned to the Saturday Night Live stage at Studio 8H for the 40th anniversary special to introduce a segment, but he neither acted in any of the sketches nor revived any of his classic characters. Later, fellow SNL alum Norm Macdonald claimed that Murphy was initially asked to bring back his Bill Cosby impression but declined. Now that Murphy’s set to guest host the long-running variety sketch series this weekend, many are wondering which, if any, classic characters he’ll be bringing back.
Well, according to Murphy’s interview with Al Roker on Thursday’s edition of The TODAY Show, the aforementioned Cosby impression is on the table. Not only is it on the table, in fact, but it seems Murphy and the SNL writers’ room have a potential sketch in mind for the character.
“We’re talking about a Gumby thing. We’re talking about a Buckwheat thing. We’re talking about a Bill Cosby thing maybe,” he admitted. “It will be very funny. I don’t know if he would think it’s funny, but it will be very funny.”
Mr. Robinson, Velvet Jones, and others were all mentioned as well, but it was Murphy’s apparent willingness to revisit his Cosby impression that caught Roker’s attention — especially considering the famed comedian’s conviction and prison sentence has since happened. SNL has made fun of Cosby since these events, courtesy of cast member Kenan Thompson’s impression, though Murphy has largely chosen to abstain from public comment. That being said, while accepting the Mark Twain Prize in late 2015, he did let a few Cosby gags slip in his acceptance speech.