Bill Cosby’s spokesperson issued a statement following Eddie Murphy’s wicked joke about the fallen comedian on Saturday Night Live. Cosby’s rep, Andrew Wyatt, described Murphy’s monologue joke about the former Cosby Show star as “disparaging,” according to the statement posted by Page Six.
On Saturday night, in his first return to the SNL stage in 35 years, Murphy talked about his new life as a dad of 10. He also joked that Cosby, now 82, has been long removed from his status as America’s favorite dad.
“If you would have 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,” Murphy said in his SNL opener. “Who is America’s dad now?”
Murphy then did a spot-on impersonation of Cosby as he rolled his eyes back.
In response, Wyatt called Murphy a slave to Hollywood as he accused him of selling out. In a lengthy statement, Wyatt said Cosby “broke color barriers” in the entertainment industry and paved the way for black comics such as Murphy, Dave Chappelle, Kevin Hart and more, per TMZ.
“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,” the Cosby rep said. “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 clickbait. Hopefully, you will be amenable to having a meeting of the minds conversation.”
Murphy pushed the envelope during his Saturday Night Live return as he revived classic characters Mister Robinson, Gumby, Buckwheat, and Velvet Jones, but his Cosby diss was a little surprising to some fans. Five years ago Murphy refused to poke fun at Cosby in a skit for Saturday Night Live’s 40th-anniversary special.
In 2014, SNL alum Norm Macdonald revealed that he tried to convince Murphy to impersonate Bill Cosby for a Celebrity Jeopardy sketch that would feature the fallen funnyman mixing up a special drink. Yet, at the last minute, the SNL legend revealed he wasn’t comfortable doing it. Macdonald noted that Murphy felt the laughs weren’t worth it and that he would “not kick a man when he is down.”
In a statement to NBC News, Cosby said he appreciated the fact that Murphy refused to play him in the Celebrity Jeopardy skit.
“I am very appreciative of Eddie and I applaud his actions,” Cosby said at the time, through his rep.
Instead, Saturday Night Live veteran Kenan Thompson wore a Cosby sweater to play the disgraced TV dad in the skit.
Eddie Murphy previously said he had been a fan of Bill Cosby his whole life, but that was before the former Jello-O Pudding pitchman was convicted of aggravated indecent assault against Temple University women’s basketball coach Andrea Constand. Cosby is now serving a three to 10-year sentence in a Pennsylvania prison.