Eddie Murphy Impersonates Bill Cosby in First Stand-Up Set in Decades
Eddie Murphy had finally broken his silence on the controversy surrounding Bill Cosby to riff on the comedian.
The comic was at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. to receive The Mark Twain Award for American Humor, the same honor given to Cosby 16 years earlier.
Murphy joked: "Bill has one of these. Did y’all make Bill give his back? I know there was a big outcry from people for Bill to give his trophies back. You know you're f**** when you have to give your trophies back.”
Murphy then impersonated the embattled comedian: "He should do just one show where he just comes out and talks crazy. ‘I would like to talk to some of the people who feel that I should give back my f*** trophies.’”
Murphy made Cosby the butt of his jokes was three decades ago when he was first starting out in the business. He had refused to take swipes at his idol since the sex scandal broke and turned down the chance to play Cosby on Saturday Night Live’s 40th anniversary special in February.
Former SNL alum, Norm MacDonald tried to convince him, but Murphy said no.
“Eddie decided the laughs were not working. He will not kick a man when he is down,” MacDonald tweeted back then.
At Sunday’s big event honoring Murphy, comedians from all walks of life and generations came out to honor the man they credit for inspiring them to take the stage.
An emotional Tracy Morgan said: “He's the reason I'm in comedy. He's the reason I have a job. He's the reason I have a career."
Daily Show host Trevor Noah spoke to the Associate Press and said it was Murphy who created a bullseye for comics to try and hit.
“Eddie Murphy's influenced almost every single comedian- especially of my generation. He did everything brilliantly. He showed me a benchmark to aim for. He made me realize that there was a level of excellence to try and attain, and I still think I'm working at that 'til this day,” he said.
Past honorees include Jay Leno, Carol Burnett, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Ellen DeGeneres, Will Ferrell and Richard Pryor. The show will air next month on PBS.