Remember all the hooting and hollering people were doing when the 40th anniversary show of Saturday Night Live (SNL) aired – And Eddie Murphy seemed ungrateful? Well, as it turns out, Eddie was written into a skit by Norm MacDonald. It was a Celebrity Jeopardy bit, and Eddie Murphy was supposed to play Bill Cosby.
I can almost hear the oohs and ahhas! I remember going on HULU when that episode aired, so I could see what the hoopla was about. At that time I only watched Eddie’s part, I didn’t stick around for any of the skits. Chris Rock introduced Eddie Murphy:
Eddie’s SNL appearance was very brief. He basically came on and said THANKS! It had everyone puzzled, and many people pissed off. Viewers were hoping to see the comedic genius go in for the kill. Instead he was like, “Oh, I’m so happy that you guys appreciate that work I did here (on SNL) 35 years ago“. In other words, it was ancient times, and the association with the show was long gone. Right?
One problem with his return, is he did not want to do Bill Cosby, even though it could have been hilarious – by his own admission – it just wasn’t the right time to do Bill. Norm tried to convince him to do it, but failed. Eddie insisted the laughs just weren’t worth it (to him).
Even though all this sht happened 8 months ago, we’re touching on it now because Eddie Murphy just did an interview with Washingtonpost.com (and others). The SNL snub is one of the topics they covered. They covered a lot of stuff, even talked about making a record. But here’s the deal on SNL, quote:
[Eddie Murphy seemed surprised] of the hype that surrounded his return to [SNL’s 40th Anniversary celebration show] — and the chatter over his decision not to perform.
So what happened? Simple. [SNL] wanted [Eddie] to play Bill Cosby. Because nobody does a better Bill Cosby than Eddie Murphy. Except the timing was more than a little awkward.
Okay, so that sums up one of the reasons Eddie’s appearance on SNL was so brief. Apparently, Eddie didn’t want to tread in those waters. What’s another reason he was so speechless on the anniversary show? Yes, there’s more, as we’ll learn from theguardian.com. Apparently, Eddie Murphy has been through his own relationship shame with women – TheGuardian called it a checkered history. So, there’s that.
Additionally, there’s that minor detail involving disrespect, when David Spade called Eddie a falling star (referencing movie failures) in an old SNL news skit. Eddie feels he shouldn’t have been the butt of their jokes since he was a key player for the show. Some might say Eddie Murphy helped SAVE SNL. So, there’s THAT, too. Quotes from theguardian.com:
Having been hurt himself by a stinging SNL barb, Murphy’s decision to avoid mocking Cosby, whatever their back story, becomes clearer. [Plus there’s Eddie Murphy’s] own checkered history with women [3 kids with different women 1989 through 1990].
There are several motives for Eddie Murphy seeming lost for words on SNL’s Anniversary show. Many of us have been taught “If you have nothing nice to say…” – This is one of those damned if you do, damned if you don’t situations. Eddie took the high-road and didn’t put himself (or anyone else) in an uneasy position for the sake of laughs. And by no means, does he owe any of us an explanation.
There was at least one person who understood, and was grateful for Eddie’s non-performance. It was posted on NBCnews.com earlier this year that Bill Cosby appreciated Eddie Murphy’s actions. Quote:
[From NBC-news Headline] I Applaud Eddie Murphy For Refusing to Play Me in SNL40 Sketch.
[On behalf of Bill Cosby, from a Rep] I am very appreciative of Eddie and I applaud his actions.
Instead of tossing the script, Kenan Thompson portrayed Cosby. I wonder if Norm cut the original length of the Bill Cosby scene. It only lasted a few seconds! Kenan did good on it, but I didn’t’ think the Cosby bit was very funny (maybe I’m over exposed?). However, the other scenes in SNL’s Celebrity Jeopardy were pretty damn good.
Norm MacDonald is under-appreciated! Have you checked out his podcast? Anyway, I loved when the Burt Reynolds (done by a chewing gum chomping Norm MacDonald) character showed up as an uninvited contestant. HA! Here’s the Celebrity Jeopardy skit from SNL 40th Anniversary.
I would like to point out, maybe all this dirt is being rehashed because Eddie is working on a new album. If you’re going to promote new music, you’ve got to talk about stuff, right? Eddie’s SNL slight is still on people’s minds. But there is a WHOLE LOT more to him than that guest appearance on SNL.
Watch Eddie Murphy Oh Jah Jah
I find it incredible how one individual can be blessed with so many different talents while other folks are just completely ordinary (not artistic). Eddie Murphy has been blessed with a long inventive career. As promised, here’s one of his most recent musical works. He touches his Reggae side here. Check it out.