Bill Cosby Applauds Eddie Murphy for Rejecting ‘SNL 40’ Sketch

So, according to Norm MacDonald, Eddie Murphy was supposed to play Bill Cosby in the Celebrity Jeopardy! sketch on SNL 40. But whether it was out of respect for Cosby, or because of the hot-button nature of the topic, or simply because, as MacDonald puts it, Eddie just didn’t need the laughs, Murphy ultimately turned down the proposal for the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary special.

And Bill Cosby couldn’t be more grateful.

“I am very appreciative of Eddie and I applaud his actions,” Cosby said through his official spokesperson.

Of course, Murphy opting not to do the sketch doesn’t mean Cosby isn’t still catching Hell in the court of public opinion. He’s essentially gone from being one of America’s favorite comedy figures to becoming one of its most controversial. Over 20 women have now come forward over the past several months to accuse Cosby of sexual assault, including model Janice Dickinson. Although he has never officially been charged, Cosby has vehemently denied the allegations. Or, rather, he’s done his best to avoid addressing them altogether. That said, this is a touchy subject, and I can see why Murphy would want to avoid it altogether. To beat a cliche into the ground, sometimes the only way to win is not to play.

Bill Cosby Applauds Eddie Murphy for Rejecting 'SNL 40' Sketch

Credit: Dana Edelson/NBC

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