Eddie Murphy was back to host Saturday Night Live this past Saturday — his first time on the NBC show since leaving it as a cast member in 1984 — and the legendary comedian pulled no punches right from the outset, dropping some jokes in the opening monologue about disgraced fellow comedian Bill Cosby, who is currently serving a prison sentence for drugging women and committing sexual assault.
Of Cosby, Murphy said, “My kids are actually pretty much my whole life now. And you know what—if you told me thirty years ago that I would be this boring, stay-at-home house dad, and Bill Cosby would be in jail? Even I would have taken that bet. Who is America’s dad now?”
Murphy was then joined on stage by legendary black comedians Dave Chappelle, Tracy Morgan, and Chris Rock.
Cosby and Murphy have a history of conflict, with Cosby purportedly once criticizing the vulgarity of Murphy’s legendary comedy special “Raw”. It didn’t take long for Cosby’s camp to fire back. In a lengthy Instagram post, Bill Cosby’s publicist Andrew Wyatt called Murphy a “Hollywood Slave.”
“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 Chappell [sic], Kevin Hart and et al., could have an opportunity to showcase their talents for many generations to come. It is sad that Mr. Murphy would take this glorious moment of returning to SNL and make disparaging remarks against Mr. Cosby. One would think that Mr. Murphy was given his freedom to leave the plantation, so that he could make his own decision; but he decided to sell himself back to being a Hollywood Slave. Stepin Fetchit plus cooning equals the destruction of Black Men in Hollywood. 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. 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.” #NotFunnySNL #SNL #FarFromFinished #FreeBillCosby #Bill Cosby
Oof. That is a brutally stupid response but, at this point, Cosby and what’s left of his people really don’t have any choice other than to wildly swing for the fences. Calling Eddie Murphy a “Hollywood Slave” and accusing him of “cooning” might seem shameless and gross but when you’re already defending a clearly guilty serial rapist you really don’t have a lot to worry about reputation-wise anyway. Presumably every time someone on Cosby’s team asks what to say when the convicted rapist is mocked or criticized the answer is always, “We’re defending Bill Cosby. Say whatever you want. It doesn’t matter.”