Wednesday, Comedian/Writer/Actor Comedian NORM MACDONALD took to Twitter to share a long but fascinating account about the behind-the-scenes drama that preceded SNL 40!!!
EDDIE MURPHY, who made a brief cameo on the NBC special, was apparently in talks to impersonate BILL COSBY in CELEBRITY JEOPARDY, a skit Macdonald wrote and originally created for the show, but Murphy turned down the gig the night before the telecast.
Kenan Thompson eventually played Cosby in the revived sketch, which also featured Will Ferrell (Alex Trebek), Macdonald (Burt Reynolds), Darrell Hammond (Sean Connery) and Kate McKinnon (Justin Bieber).
NORM MACDONALD said;
“Among many other things, this show was to be the return of Eddie Murphy. Eddie, the man who, in Lorne’s absence, kept the show alive. Singlehandedly…Every Saturday Night at 11:30 Eddie Murphy, a kid, would fill 90 minutes with comedy. Impossible.”
But his affiliation with “SNL” would come to an abrupt halt in the early ’90s when David Spade, during a segment on “Weekend Update” quipped, “Look children, a falling star,” as Murphy’s picture was displayed in the background.
The actor-comedian was so upset by the joke, according to Macdonald, that he refused to attend the show’s 25th anniversary in 1999. He also turned down several hosting opportunities.
“David is a very kind man,” Macdonald said, “but his remark was not.”
After more than 30 years away from “SNL,” Murphy, returned to the halls of Studio 8H on Saturday night for rehearsal, to the disbelief of many.
“(Chris) Rock says, ‘There he is. Like Ali in Zaire,’” Macdonald wrote.
As the A-list stars began to prep for Sunday’s telecast, Macdonald pulled Murphy aside in a dressing room for an hour trying to persuade him to do the “Celebrity Jeopardy” sketch.
“When it’s over, I’m convinced he’ll do it,” said the comedian.
Murphy, however, opted against the laughs.
According to Macdonald, he didn’t want to further ridicule Cosby.
“He knew the laughs would bring the house down,” Macdonald said of his decision. “(But) Eddie decides the laughs are not worth it. He will not kick a man when he is down.”