Why Bill Cosby and His Team Are Pissed Off With Eddie Murphy
Eddie Murphy’s return to SNL after 35 years marked the show’s biggest ratings in two and a half years, with Deadline reporting that it brought in almost 10 million viewers. Murphy had audiences laughing with a variety of skits and even stood on stage alongside his fellow comedians Dave Chapelle, Chris Rock, and Tracy Morgan.
Not everyone who watched Murphy’s performance was impressed. His longtime rival, Bill Cosby, was not happy with Murphy mentioning him in his opening monologue.
Eddie Murphy and Bill Cosby have a history of not getting along
Murphy and Cosby have had tension for years. According to Murphy, their issues started when he says Cosby was critical of his comedy style.
In his 1987 comedy special Raw, Murphy recalled being scolded by Cosby for using profanity in his performances. “I sat and listened to this man chastise me,” he said. “When Bill Cosby chastises you, you forget you are gown and you feel like one of his kids on The Cosby Show…”
He spoke about the incident again in his 2019 episode of the Netflix series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. “It was mean,” he said. “He’d tell me not to talk about how much money I was making and that I should see his shows to learn from him.”
Murphy later took shots at Cosby’s downfall during his acceptance speech for the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2017.
Eddie Murphy takes a jab at Bill Cosby on his ‘Saturday Night Live’ return
The audience cheered as Murphy stepped on to the SNL stage. In his opening segment, he began by explaining why he’s been missing in action from the stand-up world and said it had everything to do with being a father.
Murphy joked that it surprises him that he’s become a stay at home dad before taking a shot at Cosby for being in prison.
“If you would have told me 30 years ago that I would become this boring, stay at home house dad and Bill Cosby would be in jail, even I would have took that bet,” he said.
He then imitated Cosby’s famous voice and called himself “America’s Dad,” which Cosby was lauded as prior to his prison sentence.
Bill Cosby and his team are angry about Eddie Murphy’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ joke
The world laughed at Murphy’s joke but Cosby didn’t find anything funny about it, and neither did his publicist, Andrew Wyatt. Wyatt took to Cosby’s Instagram account to post a response on his client’s behalf and he didn’t hold back.
“It is sad that Mr. Murphy would take this glorious moment of returning to SNL and make disparaging remarks against Mr. Cosby,” the statement reads in part. “One would think that Mr. Murphy was given his freedom to leave the plantation, so that he could make his own decisions; but he decided to sell himself back to being a Hollywood Slave.”
He also noted that Cosby’s groundbreaking career – including his historical Emmy win for his role in I Spy – paved the way for Murphy and other African American actors and comedians, as Cosby was the first black entertainer to win in his category.
Murphy has yet to respond to Cosby’s rebuttal.