Washington Post

The Short Skit Eddie Murphy Refused To Do on the ‘SNL 40th Anniversary’ Show

Feb 19, 2015  •  Post A Comment

Eddie Murphy was “the center of an 11th-hour behind-the-scenes” drama during Sunday’s live airing of “SNL’s” 40th Anniversary show, reports Justin Moyer in the Washington Post.

Moyer writes, “Would Murphy, known for his spot-on Bill Cosby impersonation, imitate the embattled comedian facing a raft of sexual assault charges in an all-star ‘Celebrity Jeopardy” parody?

Norm Macdonald tweeted what happened, the report says:

“‘[Murphy] steps behind the bar, begins mixing a drink,’ Macdonald wrote, according to Gothamist’s heroic Twitter transcription. ‘When he speaks, he is Cosby. Eddie Murphy doing a perfect Cosby impression. The audience does not let him finish. The sketch ends.’

“According to Macdonald, Murphy was reluctant, but after an hour long pep talk, acquiesced.”’

Then Murphy changed his mind, declining to do the bit. The bit was done on the show, with Kenan Thompson playing Cosby.

You can watch the skit below. Kenan appears as Cosby near the 8:04 mark.


  1. Mr. Thompson’s first name is Kenan, not Kennen, but proper spelling has never been a huge priority on this website.

    • Hi Doug. We have fixed it. And yes, we need to do a better job and not mispell misspell words…

      Chuck Ross
  2. Ummm… who cares?

    • I found the story interesting. My opinion is that Murphy was in a tough spot. He looks bad if all he contributes is a glib thank-you (which is all he did). But he looks bad if he attacks a fellow comedian, a former icon. Kenan Thompson can get away with it, as a bit player. I’m guessing Murphy doing it would have caused a bigger story and thought he could avoid the issue. It appears he was wrong. So, yes, it’s a story most of us care about.

  3. This is why “Saturday Night Live” has sucked for so many years – they get an idea, have nowhere to go with it, but do it anyway. Over 8 minutes of pure crap. Not funny, not clever, not even decent impressions. Alex Trebek is not British, by the way, he’s Canadian, but then what else would you expect from Will (I have ZERO talent) Ferrell? The Cosby bit would not have worked with Eddie Murphy either…the audience WOULD have let him finish because it was all just absolute garbage.

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