Eddie Murphy returned to host “Saturday Night Live” after a 35-year hiatus. The legendary comic joined the cast when he was only 19 years old, and on this Saturday’s episode (Dec. 21), Murphy’s return was iconic.
“This is the last episode of 2019,” he kicked off his show-opening monologue. “But if you’re Black, this is the first episode since I left back in 1984.” Murphy was accompanied by Tracy Morgan, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock and Kenan Thompson.
Perhaps one of the most buzz-worthy jokes Murphy made was at fellow comic Bill Cosby’s expense.
“If you had told me 30 years ago that I would be this boring stay-at-home house dad and Bill Cosby would be in jail, even I would have took that bet,” he said.
Cosby is currently serving a three to 10-year sentence after being found guilty in April 2018 on three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home in 2004.
Murphy took the joke further, impersonating Cosby’s Cliff Huxtable character, asking, “Who is America’s dad now?”
Now, Cosby’s spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, has fired back at Murphy’s jokes, calling them “disparaging.”
“Mr. Cosby became the first Black to win an Emmy for his role in I Spy and Mr. Cosby broke color barriers in the Entertainment Industry, so that Blacks like Eddie Murphy, Dave Chappelle, Kevin Hart and et al., could have an opportunity to showcase their talents for many generations to come,” Wyatt’s statement read.
A spokesman for Bill Cosby has fired back at Eddie Murphy after the comedian made jokes at Cosby's expense during his opening monologue on Saturday Night Live, @dakinandone reports.— Amir Vera (@TheAmirVera) December 23, 2019
Full statement below.https://t.co/E5n8tM6SHF pic.twitter.com/Kssuh8PL66
“It is sad that Mr. Murphy would take this glorious moment of returning to SNL and make disparaging remarks against Mr. Cosby,” he continued. “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.”
Wyatt’s statement goes on to compare Murphy to Stepin Fetchit and accuses him of perpetuating racial stereotypes.
“Remember, Mr. Murphy, that Bill Cosby became legendary because he used comedy to humanize all races, religions and genders; but your attacking Mr. Cosby helps you embark on just becoming click bait,” he wrote. “Hopefully, you will be amenable to having a meeting of the minds conversation, in order to discuss how we can use our collective platforms to enhance Black people rather than bringing all of us down together.”
Murphy fans took to Twitter on Saturday (Dec. 21) to praise the comedy icon’s return to the “Saturday Night Live” stage and on Sunday (Dec. 22), after Wyatt released his statement, many have flocked to defend Murphy’s jokes.
“Eddie Murphy is a fu**ing legend and he won’t be remembered as spending his last years in jail for drugging and raping women because he’s a creepy old ass man,” one person wrote. “Naw Bill Cosby that’s you.”
Eddie Murphy is a fucking legend and he won’t be remembered as spending his last years in jail for drugging and raping women because he’s a creepy old ass man, naw Bill Cosby that’s you bruh so fuck you https://t.co/zKV0QMg4MY— Myles Chalmers (@8myles__) December 23, 2019
Check out some more reactions below.
Well if you seen Eddie Murphy “raw” you’ll know why this hilarious. Short quick back take. Bill Cosby called him and told him his comedy was too raunchy so he called Richard Pryor and asked and Richard told him tell that nigga have a “coke and a smile” https://t.co/Nelu1rkscz— Geezy (@AgShotEm) December 23, 2019
Let's put it this way: if Bill Cosby (whom I adored) had stuck to the moral code he espoused publicly, this incidnt wouldn't have happened. Cosby's talent & humor broke barriers, but this has NOTHING to do with talent and humor. Cosby's not in jail for winning an Emmy.— J.D. (@JoycieDee) December 23, 2019