Eddie Murphy received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor over the weekend, but it was his impromptu remarks about Bill Cosby that really stole the show.

Murphy refused to joke about Cosby during his return to Saturday Night Live for the show’s 40th anniversary because he thought it was in bad taste. Murphy explained his decision not to play Cosby on SNL to the Washington Post. 

“It’s horrible. There’s nothing funny about it,” he said. “If you get up there and you crack jokes about him, you’re just hurting people. You’re hurting him. You’re hurting his accusers. I was like, ‘Hey, I’m coming back to SNL for the anniversary, I’m not turning my moment on the show into this other thing.’ ”

Well, looks like Murphy changed his tune.

As soon as the comedian got on stage, he joked about Cosby, telling the Kennedy Center audience, “Bill has one of these, did y’all make Bill give his back?”

“I know there was a big outcry from people that was trying to get Bill to get Bill to give his trophies back,” Murphy joked. “You know you fucked up when they want you to give your trophies back.”

The Coming to America star continued to rib Cosby, even rolling out his famous Cosby impersonation.


“You may have heard recently that I allegedly put the pill in people’s stomach,” Murphy said. “If I ever see or meet this Hannibal Buress in person I am going to try and kill this man.”

This has been a terrible month for Cosby. A mural of the comedian in Washington D.C.’s historic Black U-Street corridor was defaced, Tufts University revoked his honorary degree, and a California judge refused to throw out a lawsuit from one of his alleged assault victims.

Check out Murphy’s acceptance speech below. 

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  • OSHH

    No sympathy, but congrats to Eddie though, well deserved.
    I was wondering when Ben’s was going to take down that mural. I know when I am out for a meal and or an enjoyable evening on the town being reminded of serial rapes doesn’t make for the best appetite wetter.

  • [email protected]

    Bill Cosby criticized Eddie Murphy back during the 1980’s, because of the content of his comedies. That is why Eddie’s speech today is similar to his skit on his movie “Raw.” Eddie’s speech is ironic since Murphy criticized Bill because of the content of Bill’s character and back in the day Cosby criticized Eddie because of the content of his jokes.

  • itsawonderfulworld

    I’m happy for Eddie! He deserves it! I heard he’s back on tour with a few other comedians, too! (SN: I also enjoyed seeing Tracy Morgan back on SNL; happy he’s better!)