Former “Saturday Night Life” cast member, Norm Macdonald, took to Twitter last night, with a lengthy series of tweets, taking readers behind the “SNL” 40th anniversary special curtain, informing the rest of us on what really happened in the much-publicized case of that brief and awkward Eddie Murphy moment during the Sunday night broadcast.
In short, according to Macdonald’s tweets (which some of you have already read), he tried talking Murphy into playing Bill Cosby during the hilarious “Celebrity Jeopardy” sketch, which included former cast members and some of the show’s most popular hosts and musical guests. But Murphy, initially considering doing it, would eventually pass on the idea.
Macdonald tweeted, in individual 140 character or less tweets: “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’s 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.”
Of course, the “kick a man when he’s down” line is in reference to Cosby, who has been accused of sexual assault by mover 2 dozen women.
Kenan Thompson instead played Cosby in the sketch.
Though Cosby has remained mostly silent throughout the storm of allegations, he did have express appreciation for Murphy’s restraint, saying, via a spokesperson: “I am very appreciative of Eddie and I applaud his actions.” Although, I’m not sure if appreciation from Cosby is something any public figure wants right now.
So, maybe this helps explain Murphy’s awkward, humorless appearance, after being introduced by Chris Rock (a intro that last about 4 minutes). Assuming that was the only sketch he was considering doing, his reluctance to satirize Cosby may explain some of what looked to me like discomfort on his part.
Macdonald revealed much more during that Twitter session, including more praise for Murphy, even sharing brief details of his time on the show. You can read the entire series of tweets here.
Watch Murphy’s appearance on the SNL40 special below: